IBM offers Watson supercomputer power to the world with cloud analytics tool

Watson Analytics available on mobile devices

IBM has announced that its supercomputer Watson is being opened up for anyone to access as it looks to provide business users with access to its powerful analytic capabilities.

The Watson Analytics service is a cloud-based offering that combines the different parts of data analytics including data refinement, storage and interaction, to simplify data analysis on both desktop and mobile devices, Big Blue said.

This should enable businesses of any size or sector to take advantage of the ”cognitive-computer’ to ask questions of their data and receive clear answers.

Through the use of natural language comprehension, Watson Analytics can understand business questions – for example, which deals are most likely to close? – and deliver answers to the question rather than just a visualisation of datasets.

Oliver Oursin, worldwide solution executive for IBM Business Analytics, told V3 that because of this, and in contrast to other analytics tools aimed at data scientists, Watson Analytics is business-led, rather than IT-led, offering.

“We take all the IT complexities away. You are the business user, you have your data and you want to analyse it – you have nothing else to worry about,” said Oursin.

Using predictive analytics, Watson Analytics can pull out relevant facts from raw data and present them to users. In turn, this leads to further questions being asked on the results, revealing previously unseen patterns and relationships in the data.

IBM declared that unlike other analytical tools on the market where users have an idea of what to expect from their data, Watson Analytics is designed to suit business with no analytics model in place.

Oursin also told V3 that Watson Analytics is built upon a combination of IBM data centre and database systems, combined with the cognitive processing developed from IBM’s Watson supercomputer.

“We are so big and so broad that we have those different [products] in house,” he explained.

Oursin added that business users are only exposed to the results of the data analysis and never need to worry about the processes working behind Watson Analytics: “You never see any of that – you only get an answer.”

Watson Analytics is currently in a beta phase with the announcement marking an opportunity for businesses to get involved in testing the service.

While Oursin said the release date was dependent on the beta results, he believes Watson Analytics will be available by the end of the year.

Watson Analytics is not the only way IBM is harnessing the power of its Watson project for use in data analysis. In August IBM added new cognitive capabilities to the Watson supercomputer that allow it to discover hidden connections within big data.

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16 September 2014 | 2:43 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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