Weather (data) for all seasons
By Doug Polen, Software Sales Specialist
Many people don’t know this, but Weather Underground was a part of The Weather Company, which was acquired by IBM a few years ago. They had been offering an API that many customers and weather junkies had been using for quite some time to gather weather data for a vast array of applications.
To accommodate Weather Underground’s rapidly growing customer base, The Weather Company made the decision to move the Weather Underground platform to IBM’s enterprise API infrastructure and set this popular API to be shut down this month.
There are several different flavors of the API that are being published. The scalability of IBM’s infrastructure will allow existing Weather Underground customers to continue to receive the consistent customer experience they are used to, as well as better serve the developers working on the next generation of weather data.
As a result of this change, I was called upon to help with the surplus of inbound inquiries this decision created. Little did I know when I agreed to help work with these folks, the wealth of information I would take in about weather data and its seemingly endless use cases.
So why is this something that’s worth writing about? The Weather Company continues to remain the world’s most accurate forecaster and IBM is committed to ensuring its customers receive precise and accurate weather data at rapid speed.
Weather is something that impacts everyone daily in their personal lives. It’s a lot like the 82,000 memes you’ve seen on social media around the January 2019 Polar Vortex here in Minnesota … this guy survived his first -30° day ever, and here I am writing a weather blog in the postmortem.
Is it going to be sunny today?
What’s the wind chill today?
Will I need an umbrella?
This information is invaluable from a business perspective.
Will a snow storm impact a shipment?
Does an electric utility require more power today because more people will be using their AC’s?
What is the historical sun/wind/rain pattern that could impact agricultural output?
You get the point, the bottom line for business is having the ability to access better weather information can really have an impact on how business decisions are made. Helping clients make their businesses better and more competitive through data, is what I do. These new IBM offerings are both cost effective and robust.
Truth be told, in my sales career, I’ve never enjoyed the customer conversations more than I am right now. These are really fun conversations to have. I’ve learned about vineyards and how weather affects wine production, how off-shore oil rigs rely on accurate weather information to make decisions on worker safety and asset protection, and the ways public safety uses weather to predict what’s coming so they can best plan and schedule the resources necessary to keep public utilities going during weather events.
Speaking of fun, I’m positioning the Weather Company for Enterprise use, but I’ve got a new app on my phone that I simply love. WTForecast is a great app that I recently discovered (not affiliated with IBM). If you want a little humor (and let’s face it, when it’s -30° you need to laugh, albeit carefully, so as not to crack your face), be sure to give this one a try.
The point is, take a look at how decisions are made in your organization. Could better weather data help your company to make better choices to enhance profitability, make a more enjoyable workplace, or maybe even save an employee’s life? Let’s get to work today and uncover what we can do for your future.
Doug Polen is a Software Sales Specialist at Evolving Solutions. He has been with Evolving Solutions since 2015, after spending 16 years at IBM as a Software Client Leader and Client Executive.
He specializes in IBM PassPort Advantage, Software as a Service, Analytics, Cloud, Cognitive, IoT, Security, Social & Weather solutions and holds numerous IBM software certifications.
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