- Will Matt Ryan get his first ring?
- Will the Super Bowl commercials live up to the expectation?
- How inflated are the footballs?
- Who is just there for the half time show?
These are all questions we can explore!
These are all questions we can explore!
It has been a little over a year since IBM’s Watson Analytics was released. Watson Analytics, a smart data discovery tool, continues to deliver easy analytics for everyone. Some competitors are trying to catch and imitate what IBM has delivered but frankly, their latest news is more “snooze worthy” than newsworthy.
Because Watson Analytics is so easy to use and visually appealing, IBM has seen strong adoption (1 million plus users!). Over the past couple of months there have been some amazing additions to an already fantastic product (see Watson Analytics for Social Media).
Watson Analytics is so powerful and can address so many different uses cases. I am frequently faced with the following query: So, I get it! I have a ton of data and I need a way to make sense of it. But what exactly do I DO with it??
This really depends on what your role is. In our work lives we each fit into some type of role:
So, as you read this and think about what YOU can do with Watson Analytics, think about the data you need to better visualize. Think about what finding patterns within your data could do for you. Finally, think about how adding social media data to your analyses can make you analyses event more effective.
But most importantly let’s put this in context of some of the major roles and use cases that will matter to you:
Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing the details behind some of these specific use cases and providing a “how to do this yourself” approach. Check back to hear more about how #watsonanalytics can help address many of these use cases.
I recently joined a small company after spending 8 years at IBM. While there I was fortunate enough to be exposed to some of the world’s best analytics offerings. I also had the opportunity to work with some really strong thought leaders like: Marcus Hearne, Erick Brethenoux, Olivier Jouve, Oliver Oursin and many others. Now that I have moved out of IBM I am feeling the pain many of my former clients feel.
I have become the target audience for many of the analytics vendors out there. IBM, Qlik, Tableau and others all have a shot at my business. So why is that? What is it that makes my company so typical and in such need for easy to use, fast, intuitive analytics that deliver a single version of the truth?
So what do we need to do to become more analytically driven? For me it is not a question of whether or not an analytics tool will help me. It is a question of how to best approach moving forward…
Making analytics accessible to all users has been a challenge for years. Companies like Tableau and Qlik have done a decent job of reaching finicky business users by providing visualizations and data discovery capabilities. They are largely one trick ponies in each of their areas of strength. That is just not going to work for me. I am an only child with some strong Veruca Salt tendencies (Think, I want it all and I want it NOW!). So I am particularly happy to talk about the Watson Analytics announcement today.
Here is what the market is saying:
As a former marketing operations leader, I am thrilled to see these types of capabilities being offered directly to marketing, sales, human resources, and finance professionals. For the first time these business users can have all of the analytics capabilities they need in one location without ANY technical knowledge required. From snazzy visualizations to predictive analytics Watson Analytics offers the analytics you need all in one single location to answer questions like:
I have neither the time nor the patience to play around with analytics tools. I need to get the answers to these from my data and make decisions NOW. Watson Analytics gives me what I need and it is cloud based….so I don’t need to download and install anything! Woohoo!
Watson Analytics is starting with a beta program. I am looking forward to getting my grubby little mitts on it over the next several weeks. You too can get an early glimpse by registering for the beta here!
I am a marketer by trade. I am feeling the tidal wave of change happening to our profession – Data, Cloud, and New ways of engaging with customer and companies are presenting us marketers with tremendous challenges but also tremendous opportunities.
The timeless responsibilities of marketers are changing. For the longest time, we have been held to account for:
These responsibilities are morphing into a a set of new imperatives for marketers:
While these responsibilities and imperatives are important and need to be considered, they are not the end all be all. In the end, marketers still need to find answers. They need to be able to read customers expressions or body language in a world that has become increasingly digitized.
Here are some tips about how to go about this:
Truly understanding customers and what they will do next is not rocket science. It require some critical thought and intestinal fortitude to let go of long held beliefs and believe the data.
I recently had the chance to attend the Gartner BI Summit in Las Vegas. If you are in the analytics space and have not attended this event, you really need to check it out. My colleague Marcus Hearne shares his experiences at the event in his blog post. The event is Gartner‘s opportunity to share their point of view but also for analytics vendors of all sizes to share their points of view.
So what did I take away from this event? Put quite simply, analytics vendors must design solutions and capabilities that are fast, easy and smart. For too long, analytics have been relegated to the to the wizards, witches, sorcerers and sorceresses in their lair. It does not need to be that way. As Gartner analyst Rita Sallam pointed out in the keynote, mere mortals can demystify the magic and understand the “tricks” behind the magic.
As I sat through the various vendor sessions I picked up on the key themes of fast, easy and smart. Let’s talk a little bit about what that means:
Fast: Each of the sessions I sat through demonstrated the speed of the analytics offerings. This should just be an expectation period, no discussion. You need answers and you need them fast. We expect to get answers quickly in our personal lives…why should we have a different expectation at work? It was more than just raw speed. It is also about getting up and running quickly. This can be done by adopting cloud based analytic solutions.
Easy: Analytics solutions must be dead simple to use – I am talking as easy as a telephone, microwave or a garden hose. If analytics require a PhD or reading a long manual…there will be no broad adoption. But it is much more that just easy to use. The information must be easy to understand. This can be accomplished through powerful visualizations. Remember: A Picture is worth a thousand words.
Smart: Many of the latest and greatest innovations feature industry specific or use case specific solutions, such as Predictive Maintenance and Quality. Analytic solutions must be specific to the users’ role and address specific pain points. More and more offerings will include some form of intelligence to make the analytics all the more powerful.
To hear more about analytics I recommend visiting a Business Analytics Summit in a city near you.
I recently attended conference in Singapore
where I had the chance to listen to thought leaders discuss the need for analytics to address what Gartner refers to as the “nexus of forces” – Cloud, Social, Mobile and Information. Mychelle Mollot took a deeper dive on the “information” force in the Big Data and Analytics keynote.
As a marketer I grapple with explaining these nexus of forces and the need for Big Data and Analytics everyday. Everyone seems to have an opinion on exactly what Big Data is and why it is so important. It was in fact several customers and partners who reminded me of several things: Continue reading Analytics is not a thing you “do”…it’s a way of life.