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Toward cognitive business with IBM Watson Analytics


IBM has unveiled new data discovery and question-and-answer capabilities for Watson Analytics designed to further facilitate the ability of users to extract insights from their data.

IBM reports Watson Analytics helps individuals unlock the value of data they already have in their systems, as well as new valuable external data sources they may not even know they need. By bringing as much data as possible to the problem at hand, IBM says, professionals can answer difficult questions and embed insight and expertise into every decision they make. By understanding natural language, reasoning and generating hypotheses, cognitive computing is helping people understand, reason and learn from their data in new ways.

The expanded data discovery and question-and-answer capabilities for Watson Analytics, which help professionals ask questions, uncover patterns and build predictions, include:

Access to new data connectors—Watson Analytics allows users to bring more external data sources to a business question, helping to ensure the right data is collected and curated to add context, depth and confidence to every decision. This includes access to data from IBM DB2, IBM Informix, IBM Netezza, IBM SQL Database, IBM dashDB and popular third-party data sources.

A new secure connection to corporate data—The new capability relies on Secure Gateway technology to establish a tunnel between the user’s on-premise databases and Watson Analytics, automatically encrypting data and using Docker containers to transport it through a dedicated connection to allow for secure analysis.

Interactive data discovery with “Expert Storybooks”—In collaboration with industry partners, IBM is introducing new data discovery models called Expert Storybooks that help guide users on how to understand, learn and reason with different types of data sources to surface the most relevant facts and uncover patterns and relationships for predictive decision making.


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