IBM, Twitter to Partner on Business Data Analytics

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This story originally appeared on Reuters

IBM on Wednesday announced a partnership with Twitter to help shape business decisions using data collected from tweets worldwide.

IBM will help businesses predict trends in the marketplace and consumer sentiment about products and brands and will train 10,000 employees to consult businesses on the best use of Twitter data.

IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty has been trying to shift the 100-year-old company's focus away from commoditized hardware to higher-value cloud and data analytics products.

In April, Twitter acquired social data provider Gnip to burrow into the 500 million tweets sent daily on its network.

Enterprise clients will now be able to filter the data based on geography, public biographical information and the emotion expressed in the tweet.

"We are taking this huge fire-hose of data (and) letting clients decide how to dose that down," Seth McGuire, senior business development manager at Twitter, told Reuters in an interview.

The company previously allowed third-party firms such as Gnip, Datasift and Dataminr to buy access to the tweets and then re-sell that data to corporate clients.

While other data analysis software for businesses exists, Twitter hopes the partnership with IBM's established businesses will draw in customers.

IBM plans to offer Twitter data as part of its analytics services delivered through cloud computing, including cognitive computing.

Software developers will also be able to use Twitter data in applications they are building using IBM's Bluemix and Watson Developer Cloud offering.

"Data is the phenomenon of our time," said IBM's Rometty.

"Twitter has created something extraordinary. When you bring this together with other kinds of information and leverage IBM's innovations in analytics, Watson and cloud, business decision making will never be the same," she told an event announcing the launch.

"This is a huge milestone for Twitter," said Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, adding:

"IBM brings a unique ability to integrate complex systems and data to help clients make better business decisions."

IBM shares were off 0.12 percent at $163.40 while Twitter shares dipped 3.2 percent to $42.38.

(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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