back to article IBM tempts threadbare councils with off-the-peg data analysis

An initiative from IBM may help strengthen its ties in the public sector – but questions remain as to whether prospective clients are capable of getting the most from such a service. Last week, IBM announced "the creation of a new practice focused on delivering advanced analytic solutions to public sector clients". The new IBM …

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Black Helicopters

> evaluation of ratepayer/customer satisfaction

> Without exception, evaluation of ratepayer/customer satisfaction was carried out on the

> basis of how far these schemes met internally set targets, as opposed to actual

> customer needs

That's because by far the most important customer who needs to be satisfied if you are in local Government is Central Government in whitehall, specifically the people who evaluate whether you have ticked all the boxes on your targets and got enough stars with the audit commission. That's because that's where the majority of the money comes from. The poor local tax payer is well down the pecking order...

AC, because if Central government works out where this is posted from, the helicopters wil[no carrier]

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Anonymous Coward

IBM Salesmen

"The new IBM Business Analytics and Optimization Services for Public Sector team will pull together experts from a range of disciplines, as well as tapping into mathematics and information management capabilities across IBM."

Councils, these are salesmen, they go into companies, diss the existing IT operations and then install their guys to 'fix' it. It may be dressed up in fancy words and wild claims, but that is the essence of it.

The harder the sell, the more impressive the titles and 'world renowned' claims for people you've never heard of.

And if you don't agree, well the next guy will be a higher level IBM'er and he'll be talking to your boss about how you don't understand your job.

The best thing as ever, is to determine your own requirements, hire your own experts, drive your own agenda.

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Silver badge

lamp-posts and blame

If you fed IBMs announcement through a bullsh!t filter, you'd probably get nothing out the end. However, if you turned the setting down a bit, so it just removed the total BLX, it might, just come out that IBM want to sell local councils a chap(ess) with a calculator, as they have realised two things:

- local councils have access to vast amount of money, as they can just tap all their residents for as much as they want - without ever having to justify it. And they'd like some of it, too, please.

- council employees aren't as bright as IBM (thinks its) people (are). They therefore need somepone else to state the bleedin' obvious to them and to back that up with reports: for which they charge by the word, that no-one will ever read but can point to if challenged.

- third (did I say two things?) the one thing that councils, or any other government body wants more than it's limitless supply of other people's money is indemnity. The ability to have another person or company who they can point the finger at and say "it wasn't our fault. It was them." This is the real value that IBM are selling here and one that any elected body will pay dearly for. The role of "can carrier" for all the stupid decisions that local councils will now be able to foist on them, rather than having to make up excuses for themselves - which no one ever believes, anyway.

I would also expect that IBM's reports will be used more to justify councils' random decisions, than to inform them, in the same way that drunks use lamp-posts.

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Anonymous Coward

* A title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Reminds me of "Councils Announce Partnership To Save Millions", see http://www.somerset.gov.uk/somerset/features/isis/, which I believe has crashed and burned?

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WTF?

So right

Pete 2 - your comments are absolutely spot on. I work in analytics as a consultant in the private sector and the same thing is going on there.

C'mon Reg - where was the usual expert cynicism and mockery of this story?

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Anonymous Coward

Plans to off load top workers

Since IBM plans to off load precisely the people who would be able to run this type of system, no one should touch it with a ten foot pole.

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