IBM Watson, who is not, apparently, satisfied with its win on Jeopardy, is searching for a job. After a great deal of buildup, the natural language business intelligence tool Watson Analytics, which is rooted on the famed AI of Big Blue, is finally available in beta freemium version. It is initially free to use but it is likely that the strong analytics may end up costing you in the future.
What IBM sees as Watson Analytics’ differentiating factor in a sea of cloud-based BI tools marked by big players and startups such as Anaplan, Birst, Tidemark, Microsoft and Salesforce Wave is its “natural language” factor. If you ask Watson Analytics something like “Who is most likely to resign from the company” or “What deal has the best chance of closing?” it will come up with some impressive visualizations along with charts, graphs and useful tidbits of information. It is built on the same language processing system that allowed Watson to comprehend Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek, actually.
That very simple factor makes it uncomplicated for anyone in the office apart from the IT or data scientist guys to ask important questions and receive responses in real time. It’s designed to remove the hassle out of processing intricate data, coming up with predictions, putting assumptions to the test and taking the pain out of telling stories. Because Watson Analytics is web-based, it can also be used on any gadget with a browser, making it especially useful for those who work on the field.
For data ingestion, Watson Analytics can receive data from anywhere basically, with Google Drive, Oracle, Box, Salesforce and yes, IBM connectors that are available readily. Just like with other cloud analytics, the more data that is put in, the more data Watson Analytics is able to cull from, thus resulting in more important insights, at least that’s the hope. Known statisticians such as Nate Silver have warned the public about data overload, under the theory that not all data are created equal. In other words, be wary of more signal rather than noise.
IBM is getting itself into a market that is very much crowded and remains to be more so. Everyone wishes to be the vendor that will provide companies outside of the IT department with better insights into their data and differentiation is a big challenge. That is where IBM’s identifiable brand comes in.
It will cost you nothing to get started but you must be reminded that it is still in beta form, which means it may eventually cost you something in the future. The reason that they are keeping it in beta may likely be the same one that propelled Google to keep Gmail in one for a long time: they want the freedom to make changes to the platform, even if it is already for show.
IBM also says that there are about twenty-two thousand people who have already signed up to the platform. If you are one of them and have already given Watson Analytics a try, let u know whether their artificial intelligence has the potential to make it in the world of BI.