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IBM CEO Ginni Rometty says 80% of the world's data is where the 'real gold' is

  • IBM CEO Ginni Rometty told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer about her company's latest reinvention.
  • Data is a major focus of the new IBM, the CEO said.
  • Rometty said much of "the real gold" in data is with IBM's clients.

IBM is one of few institutional companies that are constantly reinventing themselves, and CEO Ginni Rometty said that the technology giant found its latest gold mine in data.

"Twenty percent of the world's data is searchable. Anybody can get to that 20," Rometty told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Tuesday. "But 80 percent of the world's data, which is where I think the real gold is, whether it's decades of underwriting, pricing, customer experience, risk in loans – that is all with our clients. You don't want to share it. That is gold."

Despite whispers that Facebook's WhatsApp will move off IBM's cloud server, IBM has been making moves into the data space, acquiring The Weather Company's technology and banding with cloud giant Salesforce.com to refine IBM's artificial intelligence program, Watson.

"If I had to pick one word that IBM's reinventing around, it's 'data,'" Rometty told Cramer in a wide-ranging interview about Washington, Warren Buffett and artificial intelligence.

And as her company goes through yet another iteration of transforming itself — a characteristic of IBM that Rometty thinks makes it one of the United States' greatest technology players — it is using data to its advantage in Watson, the cloud and the internet of things.

"The cloud is a really important part of where we're going, but I have to tell you, the cloud is in its early stages and it's changing," the CEO said, emphasizing IBM's current focus on collecting data.

But as precious as data is for tech giants like Facebook and Google, whose platforms are aimed at personalizing the customer experience, Rometty said that working business-to-business makes IBM's relationship with data different.

"The other thing we do, which I think differentiates us from everyone in this area of artificial intelligence built for business, is that I can guarantee you, as a customer, that your insights, your personal data, is not training that data for someone else to use it. That's not true with others," she told Cramer. "And so that, to me, is really the game if you're in enterprise."

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