IBM has announced Watson Analytics, a natural language-based cognitive service that provides instant access to predictive and visual analytic tools for businesses. Watson Analytics is designed to make advanced and predictive analytics easy to acquire and use.
The first release of Watson Analytics includes a freemium version of its cloud-based service designed to run on desktop and mobile devices. Watson Analytics offers a full range of self-service analytics, including access to data refinement and data warehousing services for acquiring and preparing data for analysis and visualization.
IBM Watson Analytics automates steps like data preparation, predictive analysis, and visual storytelling for business professionals across data intensive disciplines including marketing, sales, operations, finance and human resources.
Three key features that reduce the skills required to engage in advanced analytics include:
- A unified experience that brings together a set of self-service enterprise data and analytics capabilities on the cloud. Business professionals identify their problem, and Watson Analytics helps source data, refine it, discover insights, predict outcomes, visualize results, create reports or dashboards, and collaborate with others.
- Uses predictive analytics to surface key relevant facts and uncover unforeseen patterns and relationships. This process helps to direct users to parts of their business that matter most.
- A natural language dialogue that enables users to simply type in what they would like to see. Watson Analytics then produces results that explain why things happened and what’s likely to happen, all in familiar business terms.
“Watson Analytics is designed to help all business people – from sales reps on the road to company CEOs – see patterns, pursue ideas and improve all types of decisions,” said Bob Picciano, Senior Vice President of the Information and Analytics Group at IBM. “We have eliminated the barrier between the answers they seek, the analytics they want and the data in the form they need. The combination of Watson-fueled analytics to magnify human cognition, the vast potential of big data, and cloud-scale delivery to PCs, smart phones and other devices is transformational.”