Can I See Some ID? IBM Buys SRD To Boost Analytics

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. The move adds SRD's technology to the analytics arsenal of IBM Software's Data Management Group.

SRD's identity resolution software provides a view into associations between various individuals and relationships that otherwise might not be visible, according to IBM. For example, if a company wants to know if a customer is bouncing checks at five banks using five names, an SRD/IBM software solution could identify obscure associations to reveal the chain of illegal activity, IBM said.

In another scenario, a casino might use SRD to analyze data to find "nonobvious" relationships that could affect its bottom line, IBM said. Such a system would look at the casino's employees, vendor partners, all players rated for slot machines and table games, and industry data published on professional card counters or cheaters. That analysis could show that 24 active players are known to be professional cheaters, 23 previously had been arrested or involved in incidents, 12 employees were players, and seven were with vendors.

IBM plans to use the SRD technology for homeland security, national intelligence, law enforcement applications, and fraud prevention in banking and insurance, an IBM spokeswoman said. SRD's software is based on SQL and J2EE technology, which would ease interoperability with other vendor's tools based on those technologies.

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The SRD deal represents IBM Software's 20th acquisition in four years and the seventh for IBM's Information Management division, which bought Venetica and Alphablox last year, Green Pasture and CrossAccess in 2003, and Informix in 2001.

Analytics and business intelligence, or the ability to make sense and find useful patterns in a sea of data, is an industry hot button of late. All of the major software vendors--including IBM, Oracle and Microsoft--are bulking up the analytics capabilities of their existing products. In addition, companies that had been dedicated to analytics are trying to extend their reach beyond techies to rank-and-file workers.