Print Save PDF

About 4 minutes

Cognitive Is a Journey

You do not just simply turn on cognitive computing and suddenly your data center will start deciphering your data for you.

It is a journey that does not happen overnight. A great example of this journey is the IBM acquisition of The Weather Company.

Cognitive begins with access to data

The first steps into your cognitive journey begin with access to data.

If your company is like many organizations, you have a lot of data, and much of it is housed in silos.

Sales has a set of customer data. Operations has logistic and stock data. Finance has, of course, has financial data.

That data must be accessible to be useful.

And the more data that you have, the better your results.

Data is what IBM purchased when they bought The Weather Company.

They now receive data from over 195,000 weather stations.

All of that weather data sits on IBM servers.

Related: IBM Power Systems Provide the Platform to Cognitive

Move on to Data Analytics


You might choose to create data lakes with Hadoop or Spark, or use SAP HANA.

Now, you can start to gain some real insights into your organization, operations, and customers. These insights can be very powerful.

You can base your largest decisions on past experience.

For instance, you can see how customers respond to your products at different times of the year.

This can help you anticipate demand and be prepared to provide exceptional service.

With its purchase, IBM acquired historical weather data, along with some tools to anticipate trends and some basic forecasting capabilities.

This is the level that many organizations are trying to get to today with advanced data analytics.

Move on to Cognitive Computing

You will continue to glean great insights into your business through the use of analytics. There is amazing value in having that capability.

But that is just another step. Like the weather data that IBM acquired from The Weather Company, insights will be based on historical data.

IBM takes that data and applies the powerful capabilities of Watson.

IBM Watson uses machine learning to make sense of data and then acts on it. Those actions could be alerting you to areas of your business that need immediate attention.

By analyzing historical data and information that it receives from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, Watson could tell you, for example, that the HVAC in your data center needs attention before there is a problem.

In the case of The Weather Company, IBM is able to provide insights to enterprises about weather trends and how they could affect their business.

Retail businesses can anticipate drops in sweater sales in a particular region due to unusually high temperatures. Retailers like North Face can suggest what jacket you should buy for an upcoming trip to Chicago in November.

The Cognitive Journey Comes With a Guide

One challenge that you might face is acquiring the data scientist skillsets that can help you unlock the power of your data and revolutionize your business.

While good data is critical for advanced analytics and cognitive computing, a quality data scientist is just as important.

Demand has increased for data scientists, and that shows no sign of slowing down. IBM estimates that job openings for data scientists will grow from 364,000 in 2017 to 2,720,000 in 2020.

Those numbers demonstrate the shortage in talent.

That is why IBM wants to help you on your journey to cognitive. They have created the Cogntive and Adaptive Business Processes Workshop.

The IBM BP Network is also here to help with certified and experienced IBM Business Partners. Contact us today.

Written by Steve Erickson