NYC lands IBM analytics center, social media project

As part of its on-going Smarter City initiative, IBM announced the launch of its first U.S.-based Business Analytics Solution Center in New York City. The company also announced a new social media and crowdsourcing project with NYC-based Tumblr as part of the initiative.

The New York-based IBM Analytics Center is part of a network of global analytics centers addressing the growing need to leverage information technology to build smarter cities and infrastructure. The new center is one of four such facilities worldwide, with the others in Berlin, Beijing and Tokyo. The New York center is the first to be opened in the United States, the company said and two more centers are anticipated in London, England and Washington, D.C.

The IBM Business Analytics Center, will tap IBM Research, who currently works with the City University of New York (CUNY) and New York University (NYU) along with industry leaders to develop new technologies for cities as they strive to provide smarter citizen and business services.

“Through close collaboration with universities, educational organizations and local leaders, we are making this investment in New York to encourage further development of the necessary skills required to apply analytics to the region’s most complex challenges and biggest opportunities,” Phil Guido, general manager of the US eastern region for IBM, said in a statement.

Local agencies taking advantage of IBM’s analytics, through Cognos, include the New York City Police and Fire Departments and New York’s State Department of Taxation and Finance. First responders are working with the company to map out areas that may be more prone to outbreaks of crime or fires, and the Taxation and Finance Department is working with IBM to detect fraud, and develop a resource optimization model that is expected bring the state an additional $99 million over the next five years.

Lastly, IBM announced a partnership with New York-based Tumblr to launch a social media project and crowdsourcing project. The project is called Smarter Cities Scan and IBM analytics technology will scan Tumblr pictures to build a public blueprint for Smarter Cities. This open knowledge exchange will serve as a tool for urban center grass-roots organizations to make their communities smarter via a Smarter Cities Open Model, the company said.

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