DNA data on the cloud could be a lucrative business for big tech companies.
IBM is providing its Analytics-as-a-Service model for the world’s largest consumer DNA network, Ancestry.
The Utah-based genealogy company will use Big Blue’s Planning Analytics on the IBM Cloud for its business planning and forecasting.
“We have expanded rapidly around the world, so we required a system that supports our pace of growth,” said Curtis Tripoli, VP of Financial Planning and Analysis at Ancestry.
Greg Adams, VP for IBM Buisness Analytics, added: “Great companies like Ancestry understand the value that comes from leveraging technologies like analytics through the cloud to improve things like performance, scale and efficiency.
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“As these companies grow and scale, Planning Analytics on the IBM Cloud can help them continue to not only manage but extract valuable insights from their growing business.”
Ancestry worked with software developer Data41 to create its forecasting solution on the IBM Cloud, to analyse financial data for better business decisions.
It’s built on IBM Planning Analytics, an in-memory database and analytics solution that automates planning, budgeting, forecasting processes, as well as “what-if” scenario analysis to test assumptions and compare alternatives.
The software is available as an installation for on-premises environments or as-a-service via IBM Cloud.
IBM Cloud DNA Data on 3 Million Ancestry Customers
Ancestry is opening up DNA data on its more than 3 million subscribers globally to the IBM Cloud.
The company has sold more than 10 million of its consumer DNA test kits, which involve consumers sending a saliva sample in a prepaid envelope back to the company.
Ancestry analyses DNA from the sample and sends an email with a link to test results to help its customers connect with relatives.
It says it uses “industry standard” security practices to store DNA samples and personal data; this includes customers being able to download DNA data or have Ancestry delete test results at any time.
The partnership could be an early step in make DNA data on the cloud an industry-wide practice; competitor Microsoft has set itself a goal of using a DNA storage system working inside a datacentre by the end of the decade, according to MIT research.
Google, meanwhile, offers its Genomics service, allowing hospital and universities to store genomes in the cloud.