IBM Watson Analytics has successfully gained wide recognition across the world of self-service business intelligence. A part of this fame has indeed resulted from their creative marketing campaigns. However, that’s not all that makes it so well-loved among the audience. IBM has made data discovery easier for companies, allowing them to make crucial decisions quickly and efficiently. For this reason and many more, Watson Analytics has quickly become one of the topmost loved tools in businesses and organizations. But that’s not all there is to the software; there’s a lot more that you should know!

Overview of Watson Analytics

What is the IBM Watson Analytics?

Let’s take a more in-depth look into what IBM Watson analytics really is: it is a smart, cloud-available solution to data discovery. It features guidance on data exploration and automatic predictive analytics. This way, it allows easy, simple, and effortless creation of infographics and dashboards. As a result, you can get quick and accurate answers to your questions, obtain newer, better insights, and make swift, confident decisions about your business within minutes. And you can do all this entirely on your own, all by yourself! 

You don’t need a massive team of experts. Even if you hire professionals, you won’t be clueless about what’s happening on the slideshow. You’ll be able to understand data in a much better way and make sense out of everything. Ultimately, you can make more conscious decisions about your organization and lower the risks of failure.

IBM Watson has three versions: the free trial, Plus, and Professional version.

  • The free trial gives you access to data, Discovery, and Display tools with the data capacity of 1 MB of free storage.
  • The Plus version includes all free features with additional complete access to the resources of Analytics Exchange. It has a data capacity of 2 gigabytes of free storage, 256 columns, and a million rows. Plus, you also have the opportunity to purchase more storage.
  • The Professional version of the IBM Watson analytics includes all the free features and the Plus features. Moreover, it has a data storage capacity of a hundred gigabytes, 500 columns, and 10 million rows.

You can pick and choose whatever works for you based on what you need and what you can afford. Trying the free version first will also give you a quick idea of what the software is doing for you and whether you actually need it. If you have a positive feeling about it and would like to invest in the time, you can purchase the Plus or Professional version.

How To Use The IBM Watson Analytics

How To Use The IBM Watson Analytics

It’s not hard to use the IBM Watson analytics; it just requires a little exploring and a lot of practice.

  • Get started by navigating through their site and signing into your IBM account. If you don’t already have one of these, register yourself as a free or paid user.
  • The process starts by loading the data and shaping it. It explores all the data and discovers insights, uses visualization tools and dashboarding features to help display, and communicates these insights to the end-user, that is, you.
  • You can go into your account settings and check out your current account. The tab called Overview gives you the user’s information like your username, active licenses, subscription type, space you’re using, purchase history, and other details.
  • The next step is to import and refine data. Import data by downloading the CSV file on your computer. Go to the Data tab and choose “New Data” to import the local file.
  • The next step is data refinement. Click on the ellipses and check out the refine options. You can select particular fields to visualize every value and set specific conditions.
  • You can also see three expandable windows called:
    1. Column Properties (which reviews data, sorting options, and aggregation modes),
    2. Data Metrics (it summarises data quality, distribution, and missing values), and
    3. Actions (exposes a complete list of auto-detected hierarchies, other available columns, and create calculations).
  • You can also use Watson’s cognitive skills to discover insights. Click on the Airline Satisfaction Survey- Refined Dataset. It exposes all the cognitive starting points, relationships, and trends that the software has detected throughout the uploading process. 
  • You can utilize Watson’s natural language processing capabilities, as mentioned earlier.
  • You can create custom visualizations by choosing a combination chart and dragging it onto a column tray or the x-axis.

There are many other features and components of this software, and it will be hard to put it all in a nutshell here. However, these are all the basics of using the tool. The rest is all about how you experiment and explore the platform to get the most out of it.

The Different Applications Of IBM Watson

Applications Of IBM Watson

Companies worldwide are using the IBM Watson Analytics, and it’s helping in every industry you can think of. The following are only some of the many different applications of this genius tool:

Finance

The finance sector is also taking advantage of Watson, particularly its capability of questioning and answering. Watson helps give useful financial guidance by answering questions and analyzing them efficiently. It also helps lower, as well as manage, all the financial risks of an organization. For example, the Singaporean DBS bank utilizes IBM to ensure customers get proper advice and adequate guidance for customers. Similarly, an Australian-based company ANZ Global Wealth is using Watson for this exact purpose. The company explicitly prefers the Watson Engagement Advisor Tool and observes customer questions to improve their experiences.

Healthcare

Watson has massively impacted the medical industry. The top three cancer hospitals in the U.S., namely, the Mayo Clinic, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, use the tool everyday. In these hospitals and centers, IBM is helping with patient care and cancer research. In terms of the latter, Watson helps speed up the process of DNA analysis for cancer patients. As a result, it helps make treatment procedures more efficient and effective.

Moreover, physicians are using Watson for help with diagnoses. SchEMA, a digital application, enables doctors to put in the patient data, use NLP (natural language processing), and identify potential symptoms with their respective treatments. Plus, IBM utilizes vision recognition and helps doctors read x-rays, MRIs, and other scans. It helps them identify possible ailments quickly and narrow their focus. As a result, it saves time, ensures that they don’t miss anything important on the scan, and helps make an accurate judgment. 

Retail

Today, modern retail consumers prefer personalization, and, luckily, Watson allows you to do that. It helps you gather valuable data and present your products and services in a way that maximizes profit. For example, Sell Points created an application called Natural Selection, which uses IBM Watson Analytics in a very genius way. It basically takes advantage of the tool’s natural language processing capabilities and presents products to the shopper at the ideal point in the buying process. This way, they successfully lower the total click numbers until conversion. 

Another good example is online travel purchasing. WayBkazer, a travel company, created a unique Discovery Engine that utilizes IBM to collect data and analyze it. Then, it links the data to additional offers and customizes the lists of products for individual shoppers. This way, the company subtly yet effectively boosts its sales and improves customer experience.

Law and legality

This one might be a little hard to imagine, but it is definitely practical, and it’s happening. Companies and organizations are using Watson to make law information more accessible and easy to obtain. They’re aiming to create more awareness, promote the law’s understanding, and help users understand legal knowledge and use it to their benefit. 

ROSS Intelligence Inc. is one of the example startups using IBM for law and doing it successfully. The company is using Watson to obtain answers to legal questions easily and quickly. As per their website, consumers have the opportunity to ask questions on the site and get quick, informative, and accurate answers within seconds. You can use plain English. The application then uses NLP to interpret your questions. Then, it efficiently filters through an entire database to find you a cited answer to your problem with legislation that’s relevant to it. The company also effectively monitors any potential alterations and changes that happen in the legal world. It then alerts you if any changes have occurred. 

Another example is the Singaporean organization called the Inland Revenue Authority, which uses Watson to answer the most recurring and most important legal questions about taxes. 

IBM Watson Analytics Architecture

The architecture of IBM Watson analytics is not as complicated as you would think. It basically comprises three Ds: Data, Discovery, and Display. 

  1. Data refers to the information it gathers from online platforms, user interaction, and manual input. 
  2. Discovery refers to the analysis and processing of the data. It’s basically discovering data and making sense out of it
  3. The Display means showing the data and explaining it to the user or audience in the simplest way. Finally, the data is collected at the beginning turns into understandable, readable information. Using this information, users can make quick decisions about the future. 

IBM Watson Analytics vs. Microsoft Azure

IBM Watson Analytics vs. Microsoft Azure

While it’s a standard comparison, the IBM Watson Analytics is very different from Microsoft Azure. The latter is a machine learning software or tool. Azure automates specific tasks in the pipeline while assuming familiarity with the basic techniques of data science. On the contrary, IBM Watson Analytics is an interface that allows the deposition of data. You can ask your questions in simple, everyday English, and it will use natural language processing to give you answers that make sense you. However, the similarity between the two is that they are both simple to use and have an awe-inspiring design. They both make questioning and answering easier, albeit having different ways of doing so.

In a nutshell, both tools and software present different features even though there are some overlapping aspects. IBM aims to make interrogation of data possible for the layman. In contrast, Microsoft Azure offers a user-friendly interface, making machine learning tasks more modest and more comfortable for a user. It integrates machine learning with the existing workflow of a business. 

For Microsoft Azure consulting: https://www.existbi.com/technology-consulting/microsoft-power-bi-consulting/

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos Analytics, or IBM Cognos Business Intelligence, is a web-based software, an integrated IBM business intelligence suite. It basically provides a complete toolset that enables monitoring, scorecard, analyzing, and reporting metrics and events. The software also consists of many components specifically designed to meet all the necessary information requirements of a company. 

In simpler words, Cognos allows the user to create dashboards that are intelligent and interactive. This way, it helps businesses make important, informed decisions. It is based on machine learning systems and artificial intelligence, which helps automate all the data creation processes. It also helps analyze the data and allows the users to obtain required relevant answers to all of their questions.

IBM Cognos offers a free trial for unsure people or just want to try the tool first before investing in it. As a user, you can explore the entire product with all the features for a maximum of 30 days. Then, you must purchase one of the two paid plans: Premium or Enterprise. 

IBM Cognos Training

Using the IBM Cognos can be a little tricky, so specific training programs make you a certified Cognos user. Most of these training programs are online courses that involve business intelligence, data warehousing, Cognos Analytics, and much more.

If you want to know more about how the IBM Cognos training can benefit your organization and the IBM Cognos’ different insights, ExistBi has everything in detail. You can find multiple articles on the subject, including tips, tricks, and other valuable information. Enlighten yourself! 

Pros & Cons Of IBM Watson Analytics

Even though IBM has been a massive hit and is being used in various industries worldwide, it still has its benefits and drawbacks. While we’re still on the subject, let’s take a look into what exactly you should expect from IBM Watson Analytics. 

Pros: 

  • Easily understandable user interface 
  • Strong, secure querying
  • Information in a visually appealing format
  • Fast analytics
  • Accessible from various gadgets and devices
  • Capacity to process natural language
  • Technologically-advanced guidance features 
  • Patterns are easy to detect 
  • Faster future decisions  

Cons 

  • Lacks the option to stream real-time
  • Doesn’t cooperate with relational databases

Conclusion

The IBM Watson analytics quickly made its way into most data exploration offices. Thanks to the features, help, and guidance it offered, the tool became a crowd-favorite very soon. It helped organizations make quick, evidence-based decisions, and businesses that utilize data as evidence grow very quickly! More information on IBM Watson, IBM Cognos training, and other relevant information is on ExistBi. Hop on to the website and make sure you go through all of it. It’ll help you decide what your team needs and what you should and should not invest in. Besides, we all want the best for our business, right?

 

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