IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - October 2017 - 5
The Big Deal About Data
'm a runner (and a bit of nerd, if I must confess).
I wear my GPS watch on nearly every run, but more
often than not, I don't even look at it while I'm on the
road or trail. The real value comes when I'm finished and
I upload the data to an app called Strava, which takes the
maps and mile splits recorded while I was running and
translates them into meaningful data points.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID BOWMAN
Analyzing my personal data in isolation is interesting, but
the true fun comes when this information is aggregated with a
larger pool-other runners in my neighborhood, anyone using
the app in my city or even users from all around the world. And
while that colossal quantity of data may seem overwhelming,
it can also reveal additional insights that might not have been
apparent if the data had been siloed by user, activity or starting point. For instance, the app creates a heat map of popular
routes for runners and bikers within a given neighborhood.
But the insights don't stop there. Strava shares this data with
city planners and pedestrian advocacy groups to help answer
important questions. What's special about the roads and trails
that people gravitate to for pedal-powered commuting and leisure activities? Where are people headed? What's the average
waiting time to safely cross a street? And how can municipalities leverage this data to improve safety and encourage more
people to get out on two wheels or two feet?
Open-source databases (OSDBs) can offer organizations similar
revelations from the reams of data they already have. And these
Rick and Morty (and Writing)
Neil Tardy is an obsessive fan of the animated television series "Rick and Morty." Though he's never
attempted to purchase Szechuan dipping sauce from
eBay, he still LOLs with each viewing of the end of
Season 3, Episode 4, when Rick has no idea who
Noob Noob is. When he's not watching "Rick and
Morty" he spends time writing, including this month's
cover story on page 16.
analytics can help organizations cut costs, increase efficiencies,
etc.-ultimately carving themselves a distinct competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace. Turn to this month's cover story
on page 16 to find out more about OSDBs and how they're different from traditional databases. Next, flip to "Business Essential"
on page 22 to learn why organizations need to incorporate these
new databases or risk being left in the dust.
Elsewhere in this issue, we take a look at how workwear
apparel manufacturer Carhartt upgraded to new POWER8*
servers-and saved money in the process. Read more in this
month's case study on page 10.
Making sense of data that doesn't fit neatly into rows and
columns is becoming a big deal for organizations of all sizes.
Read on to discover the difference OSDBs can make.
Claire Walling // Managing Editor
Q Brian Kelly
Ice Cream Aficionado
Brian Kelly is a Michigan-based ice cream
expert who also creates portraits for a
variety of national advertising, editorial and
corporate clients. Turn to this month's case
study on page 10 to see an example of his
work. When pressed to disclose his favorite
ice cream flavor, he often panics and says,
"Whatever is in my bowl at the moment."
This is Brian's sixth assignment for
IBM Systems Magazine.
ibmsystemsmag.com OCTOBER 2017 // 5