IBM Launches Watson Analytics Pro

With more and more businesses tapping into the power of IBM's Watson Analytics cognitive computing solution, Big Blue announced an enterprise version.

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IBM today introduced Watson Analytics Professional, a new edition that gives users more business-centric capabilities, such as a collaboration function that lets multiple people work simultaneously in a single Watson Analytics dataset.

Also, the new edition supports IBM dbDash, IBM DB2 databases, Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API connectors for SQL databases, IBM SQL Database for Bluemix and report data from IBM Cognos 10 business intelligence software.

This expanded support enables businesses to upload and analyze immense new streams of data from across an organization's varied disciplines. Initial editions of the service, Free and Personal, support CSV and Excel spreadsheet files. In addition to the database support, Watson Analytics Professional features new connectors that enable Dropbox and Box cloud storage users to upload spreadsheets from those accounts for analysis.

Legends, a premiere hospitality and planning services firm, has tested the new version. "We are excited about utilizing Watson Analytics Professional moving forward," Jon De Lord, director of insights and analytics at Legends, said in a statement. "The platform will enable us to open up significant new areas of analysis and insights that will lead to more efficient operations and an enhanced experience for our guests."

Mueller, a leading manufacturer of steel buildings and metal roofs, also has tested the technology. "By being able to collaborate, you have more eyes to analyze the results," Mark Lack, manager of strategy analytics and business intelligence at Mueller, said in a statement. "That means it's not just me looking at the data. Plus, with Watson Analytics, people's thought processes get sparked when they see their results appear in graphs and charts so quickly."

The widespread adoption of Watson Analytics is bringing much-needed analysis to new areas within organizations, according to Alistair Rennie, general manager of Analytics Solutions at IBM. "Mueller and Legends are good examples of how vastly different businesses are leveraging this powerful service for fast, strategic insights," he said. "With Watson Analytics, we opened up analytics to everyone within an organization, and with Professional we're enabling them to now collaborate and connect to a wide range of important information."

Indeed, IBM said organizations of all shapes and sizes are turning to Watson Analytics, IBM's cloud-based analytics service, for fast, accurate and actionable insights into business operations. These organizations are using Watson Analytics to improve business processes and customer engagement, while better understanding fluctuating business dynamics caused by sales, marketing and even weather.

Watson Analytics is a natural language-based cognitive service that provides business professionals across such disciplines as marketing, sales, operations, finance and human resources fast access to predictive and visual analytic tools. Through IBM's relationship with Twitter, Watson Analytics also enables customers to analyze social sentiment for insights around programs, products, trends and more.