DB2 BLU in Action at Northwestern Mutual

By Larry Heathcote,

Achieving financial security is a numbers game. Correction, it’s an analytics game. Investment returns go up, and they go down. Risk goes up, and it goes down. Achieving the right balance of returns vs. risk is a never-ending game of analyzing data from countless data sources, and matching data analytics and investment choices to the specific goals and risk profiles of an individual, a family or a business. But it’s a very serious game that directly affects people and businesses today, and what they can do tomorrow.

Northwestern Mutual helps individuals, families and businesses achieve financial security. Through sound analysis of markets, trends, risks and investment options, Northwestern Mutual helps provide a path to wealth accumulation. Serving more than 4.2 million people and businesses, fast and accurate data analysis is the key to success.

The company wanted to improve their already impressive data analytics and provide faster insights to decision makers. They learned about new capabilities provided by IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration and wanted to put it to the test. Could DB2’s advanced in-memory, columnar technology truly return results at the speed of thought? Could it be deployed quickly to obtain fast time-to-value? Could it perform well in a high volume production environment? Could it provide real value to the business through faster query results?

To find out, Northwestern Mutual brought DB2 with BLU Acceleration into their data center to run some tests. They developed a methodology and a plan to examine DB2’s scalability and performance for both row-based and column-based data structures, and they extended their tests by using real data and real workloads to see how DB2 would perform in production.

The results? Ah, you are looking for the answers…but rather than hear it from me, attend session IWA-6604A “Testing IBM DB2 BLU with Real-Life Workload and Data” (Wednesday, October 29 – 1:45pm – 2:45pm, in the Data Warehousing in the Era of Big Data track), at IBM Insight 2014. See the specific methodology used, how they set up their tests, and most importantly, their findings and conclusions. Don’t miss this real-world application of DB2 with BLU Acceleration using real data and real workloads. Really, don’t miss it…you will learn a lot.

About Larry Heathcote,

Larry Heathcote is a Program Director for IBM’s Data Management portfolio. Over a 20+ year history, Larry has held a number of positions in both startups and F500 companies, with the majority of his time focused on marketing strategy, planning and execution for information management software and systems. He holds an MSEE/CS from Northwestern University and an MBA from Duke University. He is an active evangelist for data management, data warehousing and business analytics, and is a frequent speaker at both IBM and third-party conferences. Larry brings a unique blend of business and technical aspects to his presentations, helping his audience learn why and how technical capabilities make a real difference in business performance. You can follow him on @larryheathcote.

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