IBM Launches Watson-Based Project DataWorks

IBM brings a new Watson-powered, cloud-based big data analytics solution to the market.

IBM big data

IBM has dipped into its bag of technologies and come up with a new cloud-based data solution that very well may be a winner.

IBM introduced an effort known as Project DataWorks, which is a Watson-based initiative that taps the cognitive capabilities of IBM's Watson to help users integrate all types of data and make more informed, artificial intelligence-enhanced decisions.

Big Blue has a knack for integrating technologies from its vast portfolio of older, legacy resources along with new innovations and open-source components. The Project DataWorks platform is meant to simplify the process of collecting, organizing, governing and securing data for everyday users.

"In essence, the DataWorks project is designed to ingest and integrate all types of data, make it easy to collect, organize, govern and secure information for projects, and enable enhanced decision making with IBM's cognitive-assisted artificial intelligence (AI) tools and services," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, in the Pund-IT review newsletter.

The new solution automates the deployment of all types of data on the IBM Cloud using machine learning and Apache Spark.

"We are at an inflection point with data and analytics," said Bob Picciano, senior vice president of IBM Analytics, in a statement. "We know that clients spend up to 80 percent of their time on data preparation, no matter the task, even when they are preparing to take advantage of today's advanced AI and machine learning approaches. Project DataWorks helps transform this challenge by tapping into cognitive capabilities to integrate all data sources on one common platform, enabling individuals to get the data ready for insight and action, faster than ever before."

Indeed, getting the proper insights from reams of data is the hard part for organizations seeking a competitive advantage. They typically would require the work of a team of data scientists to glean insights from their data.

However, Project DataWorks can help businesses overcome these limitations by connecting all data and insights for their users. The solution enables users to work together on an integrated, self-service platform, sharing common datasets.

In addition to Project DataWorks, IBM also introduced its new DataFirst Method. The IBM DataFirst Method is a methodology that enables organizations to assess the skills and roadmap needed to transform into a cognitive business that is driven by insight. Picciano said IBM's more than 2,000 big data practitioners will use the method in client engagements.

The DataFirst Method is a blend of practical applications and strategic messaging around IBM cognitive computing, Pund-IT's King told eWEEK.

"The company is one of few vendors talking about the subject of cognitive computing—most others discuss similar offerings in terms of advanced analytics, AI, machine/deep learning, etc. So it's important for IBM to be hands on in ensuring customers understand what cognitive means and how it can be implemented to benefit their businesses. IBM says there are 2,000-plus global services pros involved in the effort but I expect they'll spend a good deal, at least initially, of time evangelizing Project DataWorks and educating customers about its central value proposition."