IBM announced Watson Analytics, a natural language-based service to give businesses instant access to predictive and visual analytics tools. The company calls it the biggest announcement it's made in a decade as an analytics provider.
Here's a look:
The first version will include a freemium version of its cloud-based service for desktop and mobile devices, and will offer access to data refinement and data warehousing services. It uses natural language to make interaction with predictive analytics easier to understand questions about things like the key drivers of product sales, which benefits are driving employee retention, and which deals are more likely to close.
"Unlike analytics offerings designed primarily for data scientists and analysts predominantly focused on visualization, IBM Watson Analytics automates steps like data preparation, predictive analysis, and visual storytelling for business professionals across data intensive disciplines including marketing, sales, operations, finance and human resources," the company says.
"Watson Analytics is designed to help all business people – from sales reps on the road to company CEOs – see patterns, pursue ideas and improve all types of decisions," adds Bob Picciano, Senior Vice President, Information and Analytics Group at IBM. "We have eliminated the barrier between the answers they seek, the analytics they want and the data in the form they need. The combination of Watson-fueled analytics to magnify human cognition, the vast potential of big data, and cloud-scale delivery to PCs, smart phones and other devices is transformational."
As with other IBm Cloud solutions, Watson Analytics will be hosted on SoftLayer and will be available through the IBM Cloud marketplace. It will also be available through IBM Bluemix for developers.
The company says it will be available for beta test users within 30 days, and offered more broadly later this year in a variety of freemium and premium packages.
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