IBM Launches Watson Analytics for Business Users
IBM's new cloud-based Watson Analytics service—its biggest analytics news in a decade—puts predictive analytics in the hands of business users.IBM today launched Watson Analytics, a new cloud service that takes the power of IBM's Watson cognitive computing technology along with Big Blue's predictive analytics capabilities and puts them in the hands of business users. Watson Analytics will be available for beta test users within 30 days, and available to all IBM business clients with a freemium version beginning in November 2014, according to Eric Sall, vice president of IBM Business Analytics, in an interview. IBM also intends to make Watson Analytics services available through IBM Bluemix to enable developers and ISVs to leverage its capabilities in their applications. At a Sept. 16 launch event in New York City, IBM officials said Watson Analytics may be the company's biggest analytics announcement in a decade. Watson Analytics is a natural language-based cognitive service that will provide instant access to predictive and visual analytic tools for businesses, Sall said. "When it comes to analytics, people understand the real value of using data to make better decisions," Sall said. "It's hard to get to the data and most analytical tools require a certain level of knowledge. It's hard to figure out where to start. For most people, they have to rely on an expert – whether that's a data scientist or some other specialist."
Indeed, according to analysts, only a small fraction of business people use powerful analytics tools as part of their decision making today. Watson Analytics is designed to make advanced and predictive analytics easy to acquire and use for anyone.