IBM wants to make it easier for you to access big data

IBM has rolled out a beta version of a new product it claims will give average business users easy access to powerful predictive and visual analytic tools.

Watson Analytics is a cloud-based application designed to make advanced and predictive analytics easy to acquire and use, according to IBM.

The technology behind the Watson brand originally gained recognition as the artificial intelligence system that beat a human opponent on a 2011 episode of US game show Jeopardy!

The app will offer a range of self-service analytics, including retrieving data, analysing it, cleaning it, building sophisticated visualisations and offering an environment for communicating and collaborating around the data, according to TechCrunch.

Businesses can start with an existing data source, such as from a third-party CRM system, or they can import their own data.

Once they have the data, businesses will be able to ask questions, explore the data to see what they can find themselves or use one of the story templates that comes with the product.

“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,” Bob Picciano, senior vice president of information and analytics group at IBM, said in a statement.

The release offers plenty of potential for SMEs, who currently have to have access to considerable resources and infrastructure to mine big data.

The beta version will be available within the next 30 days, while the first full release of Watson Analytics will happen later this year.

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