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September 28, 2016updated 25 Oct 2016 1:38pm

IBM combines Watson, Apache Spark and Cloud

Platform aims to appeal to businesses of all sizes.

By James Nunns

Data analytics in a cloud-based platform is being offered by IBM after unveiling its Project DataWorks initiative.

The Watson powered platform is designed to provide a single environment for collaborating across all types of data on the IBM Cloud.

Big Blue has pitched it as an ‘industry first’ that will make it simple for business leaders and data professionals to collect, organise, govern, and secure data, all so that they gain the insights needed to become a cognitive business.

Project DataWorks will be available on Bluemix, IBM’s Cloud platform, and taps in to technologies such as Apache Spark, IBM Watson Analytics, and the IBM Data Science Experience.

What this means is that companies will be able to automate the deployment of data assets and products using cognitive-based machine learning and Apache Spark.

The platform is also said to ingest data faster than any other data platform, Big Blue says that it can do it from 50 to hundreds of Gbps across all endpoints.

To appeal to businesses even more the platform is also going to tap into an open ecosystem of more than 20 partners and technologies such as Confluent, Galvanize, Alation and more.

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Bob Picciano, SVP, IBM Analytics, said: “We are at an inflection point with data and analytics.

“We know that clients spend up to 80 percent of their time on data preparation, no matter the task, even when they are preparing to take advantage of today’s advanced AI and machine learning approaches.

IBM's Project DataWorks uses Watson Analytics and natural language processing.

IBM’s Project DataWorks uses Watson Analytics and natural language processing.


“Project DataWorks helps transform this challenge by tapping into cognitive capabilities to integrate all data sources on one common platform, enabling individuals to get the data ready for insight and action, faster than ever before.”

The platform will be available on a pay as you go basis and IBM is also offering the DataFirst Method, which is aimed at helping clients to get the most out of the technology.

IBM is tapping into some of the most popular technologies to help make this platform really appeal to both enterprises and small businesses. Because it is cloud-based it is much more appealing to an SMB than a large on-premise software deployment, it means that they can just roll up services when they need them.

Apache Spark remains one of the darlings of the Hadoop and data analytics world and IBM has previously made it known that it plans to develop heavily around the technology.

Watson has become one of the bright lights of IBM’s portfolio, bringing in revenue for the company, and displaying versatility across a wide range of industries. As it rolls out to more areas and is more widely use the technology is going to improve and Big Blue will be hoping that this data analytics platform will give it a clear route into all businesses.

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