IBM WATSON – The SuperComputer for your Business

Do you wish to initiate a new business, need help with business decisions, analyze immense amount of data, create a chatbot or song, need help with recipes, or have a business that is leaving money on the table? Get all your answers from ‘Watson.’

Created by IBM, Watson is a supercomputer that works as a ‘question answering’ machine while combining artificial intelligence (AI) along with predictive analytical software. Named after IBM’s founder Thomas J. Watson, it is a cognitive technology that can understand, reason and think like a human.

With Watson, through questions designed in natural language, one can analyze, visualize, and interpret data (all kinds) while ascertaining meanings and trends. Recommendations are possible through Watson based on a person’s emotions; making use of AI technology such as machine learning which increases the subject matter in systems and is capable of holding a dialog. Watson’s partnership between human and technology has been driving many industries such as healthcare, governments, transportation, finance, entertainment, retail to find answers to some of the major challenges faced. Reference the IBM website, IBM Chairman, President and CEO, Ginni Rometty says, “In five years, there is no doubt in my mind that cognitive computing will impact every decision. Bringing cognitive capabilities to digital business will change the way we work and help solve the world’s biggest problems.”


Fed with six million logic rules by data scientists, Watson accesses 90 servers comprising of more than 200 million pages of information to derive at the best possible answer. Apart from the frame requiring a gigantic infrastructure, it’s vital constituents are Apache UIMA frameworks, algorithms for analyzing the data – structured or unstructured, Apache’s Hadoop which supports these processes, SUSE Enterprise Linux  Server 11 as its operating system, 2880 processor cores, 15 terabytes of RAM, pre-processed information of 500 gigabytes, IBM’s Deep QA software that utilizes AI technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning specially designed for retrieving information and sustaining a search engine. Being a cognitive technology which makes one think like a human, IBM’s Watson can aid in taking decisions eg. legal and healthcare research.

Features in Services and Products

Through Watson API, vision, speech and its language, developers can build cognition in their services or products. They can also gain access to an all-in-one kit which allows the developer to build a cognitive application through sample boilerplate codes, helper libraries, and a sample application. Sample codes can also be used for building the cognitive application which goes on to comprise multiple services which are used commonly.

Through Watson’s products, answers and applications can be viewed for achieving meaningful insights. The Watson Virtual Agent provides immediate and tailored support to customers at any given time. One can use the Watson explorer as a cloud-based system which analyses content, view insights, and other solutions for enhanced results. In healthcare, using deep learning technology, Watson brings medical image databases to help doctors instantaneously spot diseases.

IBM Watson Analytics

Need insightful details of your data? Try IBM’s Watson Analytics.

It is a smart data analysis and visualization service that covers all aspects of understanding data meaningfully while helping in uncovering trends, patterns meaning in data to learn more, aiding further exploration and analysis. With the help of natural language – dialogue, directed data and predictive analysis (automated), one can analyze data, gain an understanding and answers to unrequited questions, further being advantageous in decision making that can go on to influence business decisions and calculated findings. One can even choose a template to show the visualizations and insights to various addressees as this data is synchronized and can be trusted. Natural language makes it possible for one to connect with data informally. It also aids in answering business questions – through visualizations – as soon as data is loaded or one utilizes the provided data sources. One can also build dashboards, reports, infographics, visuals for presenting data impressively. It also shows how outcomes are influenced. For eg. if one is looking into product quality it will show the top drivers or reasons that are connected with the results, enabling a person to take measures convincingly. Watson Analytics continues to impart new information which can aid in detecting patterns in costs and competencies through the data. Reference to IBM’s website, Mark Lack, Manager for Strategy Analytics and Business Intelligence, Mueller Inc., says that, “Watson Analytics gave me decision-making insight to my data in minutes. It gave me more detailed analysis with easy to communicate results in a few minutes compared to days of setting up tests to run in another analytic program.” He adds, “Having these cognitive analysis capabilities at our fingertips gives us unlimited insight into how we can improve our business.”

Offered as a data analysis solution in the cloud, Watson Analytics is offered as a Plus or Professional version with the latter offering more storage, more data sources, and databases. It also offers advanced analytics without being difficult to utilize. Examples of a few organizations that are using Watson Analytics are Paschall Truck Lines (PTL), Mears Group, GM, Slack, Pearson, Minter Ellison, Caliber Patient Care, Kristalytics, Legends, Iowa State University and University of Memphis. All of these are using Watson Analytics to either build visualizations and other predictive models, identify consumer trends, build infographics for decision making, roadside assistance, business messaging, education,  saving costs, optimizing time and efforts, and/or identifying new business prospects etc.

In essence an AI endeavor, IBM Watson aims to foster cognitive business.  It assists companies in applying these AI techniques into their businesses, and to try and solve complex issues that have not been possible before.