In a statement, John Kelly, SVP of IBM Solutions Portfolio and Research, noted the Weather Company’s data is useful for IBM clients relying on sensor data and that want to tap into the Internet of Things.
“While it might seem almost trivial, weather is in fact a very useful data point for all kinds of businesses – not least in ad tech,” said Kihn. “As media targeting gets more local and in-the-moment, weather will be even more important for targeting and dynamic creative.”
Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research, agreed, saying the likely acquisition is primarily a means for IBM to bolster its data offerings.
“What this does is allow them to take the insights from the data and invest in value added data services and augmentation,” said Wang. “Think benchmarks, market place and new remixed data.”
Since weather is important contextual information, impacting sales forecasts and earnings, it affects markets and individual decision-making, just like data about location and time.
“This is part of [IBM’s] overall transformation from software to insights,” said Wang, explaining that this continues the tech giant’s efforts over the past three years to partner with or acquire data sources. “IBM will eventually emerge to be more of a network economy.”
That network economy will consist of three components, in Wang’s view: content, including product, services, experiences and insights; the network itself, including distribution channels and P2P delivery; and technology. As it acquires more data sources, the company is better able to deliver more context-driven insight.
“The goal here is to deliver on augmented humanity, which allows humans to make better decisions,” said Wang. “IBM wants to broker the data sources, benchmark the information, create new insights and products with the data sources.”