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Twitter, IBM announce a new data analytics partnership

October 29, 2014, 4:56 PM UTC
LEON NEAL/AFP—Getty Images

IBM is making friends left and right.

Just a few months after teaming up with Apple (AAPL), Big Blue revealed its latest partnership on Wednesday — one with Twitter to launch a new venture that will package Twitter data with IBM’s cloud-based analytics and business consulting services.

In a joint press release, IBM (IBM) and Twitter (TWTR) said their partnership will provide a variety of cloud-based services, with data culled from Twitter users, to offer businesses a cultivated look at their customers’ behavior and opinions. IBM will also use the data analytics partnership to support its own consulting business, allowing the company to tailor those services to be specific to certain industries — from retail to finance.

In a blog post, Twitter vice president of data strategy Chris Moody wrote that the social media company often hears from companies looking to put Twitter data to use in their business plans and that Twitter’s “relationship with IBM will directly address this need by training tens of thousands of IBM Global Business Services consultants on the business applications for Twitter data, as well as the technical and organizational changes needed to effectively weave this important resource into day-to-day business operations.”

Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo said in a statement included in the companies’ announcement that the partnership “will change the way business decisions are made — from identifying emerging market opportunities to better engaging clients, partners and employees.” The company also pointed to its acquisition of social data company Gnip earlier this year as a move that paved the way for this data analytics partnership. Twitter says that Gnip gave it a platform to make “15 billion social activities per day” available for analysis by various business clients and partners.

“Twitter provides a powerful new lens through which to look at the world — as both a platform for hundreds of millions of consumers and business professionals, and as a synthesizer of trends,” IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said in a statement, adding that the partnership “is the latest example of how IBM is reimagining work.”

In July, IBM reached an agreement with Apple to partner on the development of 100 enterprise apps for the iPhone and iPad. Wednesday’s announcement with Twitter represents IBM’s latest shift toward enterprise services and away from its hardware business.

Correction, October 29, 2014: An earlier version of this article misstated Chris Moody’s title. He is vice president of data strategy at Twitter.