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IBM reveals Watson Data Platform

IBM has unveiled the Watson Data Platform at the World of Watson conference in Las Vegas, to help companies gain more valuable insights from data.


According to the company, the platform “delivers the world’s fastest data ingestion engine and cognitive-powered decision-making to data professionals,” allowing users to collaborate in the IBM Cloud.

“We made a promise back in 2006 that we would continue to push the boundaries of innovation to enable you to govern, secure and leverage data,” said Bob Picciano, Senior Vice President, IBM Analytics. “I am thrilled to be able to announce the Watson Data Platform today, which takes that promise to a whole new level.”

IBM Watson Machine Learning Service is now also being made available; a service which intends to make machine learning simple with an intuitive, self-service interface.

“Machine learning is incredibly powerful, but many of today’s data professionals lack the skills to fully exploit it for business and the ability to effectively collaborate on datasets,” said Picciano. “Watson Data Platform applies cognitive assistance for creating machine learning models, making it far faster to get from data to insight. It also provides one place to access machine learning services and languages, so that anyone, from an app developer to the Chief Data Officer, can collaborate seamlessly to make sense of data, ask better questions, and more effectively operationalise insight.”

Built on Apache Spark, Watson Machine Learning intelligently and automatically builds models from structured and unstructured data and open machine learning libraries, while accelerating model deployment into business operations. Its patented Cognitive Assistance for Data Science technology scores each machine-learning algorithm against the data provided to recommend the best match for the need.

Through the Watson Data Platform, companies can combine their own data along with external data leveraging built-in governance to address process, privacy and regulatory requirements, while maintaining control of their data.

The platform is building an expanding ecosystem of technology service providers, allowing data professionals to use the language they are comfortable with and the services they prefer. IBM has incorporated SQL, Python, R, Java, and Scala into Watson Data Platform as well as more than 20 ecosystem partners to extend the platform services.

“Data professionals have a variety of tools and languages that they can choose from when working with data. Whether it is writing in R or python or Scala – or using different machine learning or visualisation services, they want to use what they know when working with data,” Dan Vesset, Group Vice President, Analytics and Information Management, IDC. “IBM Watson Data Platform gives data professionals an open and robust ecosystem of partners that provides them with the services they know in an easily consumable platform that encourages collaboration within an organisation.”

Watson Data Platform is immediately available on the IBM Cloud through both self-service and enterprise plans.



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