IBM has added the ability to view and analyse data on mapping software to its SPSS Statistics 20.0 tool to help firms take advantage of geographical information.
Big Blue said that the feature allows customers to gain greater insights into data to help with everything from improved advertising campaigns to detecting crime hot spots.
The use of such software in the public sector could be of particular benefit, IBM explained. For example, healthcare organisations could identify areas of high accident or illness, while governments could compare census data and tax information, region by region.
Quocirca analyst Clive Longbottom told V3 that the announcement underlines the growing use of geographical tools in analytics, but that it will be important for IBM to offer up-to-date modules.
"Mapping is moving from the 'wow' factor of being able to look at your own house and the use of sat-nav, to something that enterprises are realising employees can use in a very intuitive manner, and can gain deeper insights into what is happening," he said.
"IBM would like to have control from the low-end to the high-end and SPSS offers such a capability, but it will have to ensure that it offers a fully updated set of geo-data modules as the customers dictate."
Longbottom explained that module updates could be managed through the cloud, which would benefit customers and IBM.
"If IBM wants to do more in the enterprise with geo capabilities, it will need modules providing overlays of all utility pipes and cables, where permanent street furniture is, accurate elevation data sets, modules accurate down to a metre or less and so on," he said.
"With a cloud-based approach, these can all be offered as value-add subscription services, providing a good revenue stream as long as IBM puts in the effort with the modules (or licenses them)."
The announcement from IBM comes after German business software firm SAP announced the integration of Google's mapping service into its analytics software.
IBM's announcement was made at its annual Information on Demand conference, where the firm also unveiled a new InfoSphere BigInsights platform for big data analysis and a dedicated iPad version of its Cognos tool.
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