IBM Adds Cognitive Flavor to Watson Explorer

IBM announced the availability of a cognitive-infused Watson Explorer, a combination of data exploration and content analytics capabilities.

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LAS VEGAS—IBM continues to evolve its Watson cognitive computing system with new capabilities and services that the company hopes will make a mark in Big Blue's attempt to secure more high-value business.

At the IBM Insight 2014 conference here, IBM announced the availability of a cognitive-infused Watson Explorer, a combination of data exploration and content analytics capabilities. IBM said Watson Explorer advances data exploration by bringing cognitive capabilities, providing users with a 360-degree view of contextually relevant information to offer deeper levels of insight, showing what is happening and why.

Indeed, unlike traditional search solutions that fail to provide context, trends and relationships, Watson Explorer can help professionals find and understand the information they need to work more efficiently, gain more insights from their unstructured content and realize their objectives of improving business outcomes. New Watson Explorer features include advanced content analytics capabilities that give users a view into structured and unstructured data. Watson Explorer provides the bridge between cloud-based services and on-premises proprietary information, making it the logical first step in a Watson journey.

IBM said typical organizations use only 12 percent of their data, leaving a wealth of untapped information across the enterprise that could be leveraged to make smarter decisions. Watson Explorer equips users with the information and analytics capabilities that can help them deliver better performance and real-time results. Watson Explorer has enabled hundreds of customers to connect with their data, build information-centric applications, and improve the quality and speed of their decision making.

With today's announcement, Watson Explorer advances core cognitive components by providing organizations with the ability to quickly use natural language processing capabilities and data exploration to discover valuable business information in both structured and unstructured data.

"We need analytic capabilities to turn big data into information, and then turn that information into knowledge," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of the IBM Watson Group. "Imagine a tool, an advisor, a mentor, a coach or concierge that can help us see the world and its possibilities in new ways. … Watson can help us democratize expertise."

Cognitive exploration can enhance a user's ability to use information to make more informed, evidence-based decisions. It does this by providing information and understanding from relevant sources, much like a human would. With Watson Explorer, for example, a representative is able to ask a question in natural language and instantly retrieve relevant content, expertly culled from a variety of data sources, both structured and unstructured. Watson Explorer's content analytics feature leverages the power of natural language processing to enable organizations to extract meaning from content such as customer comments, messages, social media, legal documents and research reports.

"Exploration of data is part of a journey toward discovery of valuable information to help organizations make critical business decisions," said Stephen Gold, vice president of the IBM Watson Group, in a statement. "We are continually looking for ways to provide enterprise customers with tools that will make a difference to their employees and drive results for their bottom line. Watson Explorer brings cognitive capabilities to users at every level, giving them real-time access to the valuable information often locked in structured and unstructured data."