Supercomputer Watson Is Helping Businesses with Forecasting
Watson is the supercomputer developed by IBM, and is capable of artificial intelligence. This super intelligent technology uses a cognitive platform to understand the questions asked, then using vast processing power to crunch all of the data to find the answer. It is best known for appearing on Jeopardy in 2001 and winning. Watson was programmed to be able to answer the questions asked, and it was able to retrieve information from 200 million pages of text, without access to the internet.
Since that time, IBM has attempted to find practical uses for this machine. Watson Analytics, part of a $1bn investment, is already available for use in the medical research community, helping to make cancer treatment decisions at a major US hospital. Soon, Watson will also be helping to enroll subjects in clinical trials for the Mayo Clinic, a process that should offer patients better treatment options.
Watson Analytics is not limited to the healthcare sector. According to Bob Picciano, IBM Senior Vice President, it is designed to assist all kinds of businesspeople, everyone from entry-level sales reps to top of the company CEOs. It is made to recognize patterns and improve all kinds of corporate decisions. So, certain businesses are now starting to be able to access Watson for help in answering some of their trickier questions, like “Which deals are going to close next?”
The first version of Watson Analytics is now available as a free cloud-based analytics service, with the option to upgrade to premium services. The premium service includes the ability to analyse complex datasets from more sources.
The majority of existing tools for business analytics assume that users already have an idea of what they want to examine, have the data readily available, the skills to perform the analysis, and the time to look at it. What IBM hopes to do with Watson Analytics is to take most of the work away from the user, to make analytics more efficient.
Watson has proven to be very effective in a controlled environment, forecasting for specific topics. However, there is very little feedback on how Watson performs out in the actual business market. Which means, IBM may have a dilemma on their hands once they open up on the cloud platform.
The IBM Watson brand has evolved from an intelligent supercomputer into a complex business analytics software. This is an innovative step forward for the business analytics market, and time will tell if Watson Analytics will be able to live up to the grand expectations.
For more information on Watson Analytics, please contact NewIntelligence.