Andy Copeland

Posted by:
Andy Copeland
- Principal Consultant & Cognos Analytics Technical Lead



What’s in a name?

I thought I’d share a few thoughts following the recent announcement by IBM on the rebranding of Cognos Analytics by adding ‘with Watson’ to the product name.

So, what’s in a name? Or is it just a rename? I don’t think so. I think it’s a massive signal of intent by IBM to further develop the most comprehensive Business Intelligence toolset on the market. Either way, it clearly demonstrates the amalgamation of Augmented Intelligence into the everyday use of the software.

The days are gone where we simply looked back at our historical data, reported it, pored over figures, and tried to second guess what the future looks like. Augmented Intelligence gives us the ability to look at many differing scenarios at once and make informed decisions based on probability and proven predictive algorithms.

The best thing about this technology is that you don’t have to be a full-blown Data Scientist to achieve this; the tool will do all this for you. You may have heard the term ‘Citizen Data Scientist’ before, and this is effectively what all Business Intelligence practitioners are transforming into. It’s a role that is becoming increasingly prevalent in forward-thinking organisations.

The great thing about adding the Watson name to the product is that it formalises what we already have in place today. Smarts are everywhere in the tool: from the help system; natural language interpretation in Dashboarding; and explorations and general user interface use. You simply don’t notice half of the smarts currently in the software because they are working in the background.

Looking to the future, I hope to see in the next releases more around forecasting based on a longer time series considering seasonality. I would also like to see the expansion of capabilities around the what-if scenario modelling. That will be another game-changer when comparing the tools to its rivals.

In addition, we need to take the existing Exploration functionality and really promote its everyday use with practical examples. The biggest barrier to success currently is sometimes a perception that working with predictions is ‘Rocket Science’. By demonstrating practical examples, we can overcome that.

I, for one, am excited by the future direction of IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson and especially look forward to the continuing advances in the next 24 months.

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