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IBM Watson Analytics: A Rockstar of DataWe use IBM Watson analytics to replace our data science roles – primarily within social media. I started using it as a recommendation from a client, to get better insight (they're shifting all their software over to IBM. I'm sorry I cannot elaborate further on that). This program is basically a smart data/visual analysis that helps its clients discover patterns within data they upload, for their research. In this case, with our clients, we use it to determine their traffic through their Twitter and Facebook marketing/advertising. It helps us discover what ads are the most responsive and what content resonates best with customers.,Implementation of the data is fairly easy, all it requires is registration and uploading data from a spreadsheet – it's little more than copy/pasting which is pretty manageable on time It's affordable – it offers a $30 plan for its "Plus" services, and $80/month for its Professional services. With a small markup, this is profitable for both us and our clients Their customer support has been great – they have live personal available by phone or chat during regular business hours, and their Customer Support forums are always available 24/7. They're always quick to address an issue.,The accuracy of the reporting from the program relies solely on the data the user sources. There can be errors in reporting due to...well, human error, which can kind of mess up your entire data sheet When you're working with a program that is a cloud-based service, decentralized reporting can mislead organizations when you're not properly balanced with the traditional checks of a governed system – again, this is a human-error issue IBM advertises this as a program that can work for any user, but unless you have experience working with data analytics, it can be difficult to determine where to start. I had to look up a few tutorials online before I was able to properly get my data rolling through,7,,8,8,Google AnalyticsBlueMix-a-lotFor the past year I've run a personal website on auto-pilot that runs a few thousand API calls per month against IBM Watson Alchemy APIs. Hourly, I fetch articles from HackerNews, and feed the subject line to Watson API so it will auto-categorize them for me. Users of my website are then able to browse articles that are more relevant to their interests.,IBM Bluemix provides a wealth of powerful APIs. The ones I tried were easy to use and required minimal training to get up to speed. I'd rate the documentation 9/10 as it was easy to navigate, had good examples and explained most of the possible inputs/outputs.,The IBM Bluemix interface itself was horrendous. Performance is a feature, especially for a platform as pricey as Bluemix. Please cure the sluggishness so it's actually useable. Billing details could be improved so it's easier to figure out how much I'm paying and why. Worst customer support I've ever seen. With multiple tickets, I never heard a response. Despite being a paying customer!,6,High ROI. Useful demonstration of my abilities as an engineer; contributed to landing my most recent position.,CloudFoundry had no impact on my decision to use IBM Bluemix. In fact I was completely unaware of it! My only objective was to use the API endpoints which necessitated using BlueMix for some reason that I still don't follow. That being said I found the creation of the "apps" to support IBM Watson to be unintuitive and clunky.,10,I haven't used OpenWhisk but i would be hesitant to build on top of a server-less solution. Several of my colleagues have had issues maintaining system reliability when backed by AWS Lambda as the spin-up time for lambda instances was too long. My fear would be replication of that issue, and frankly it's just not worth the potential benefits for me.,Bluemix is a pretty good choice for emerging tech tinkering!I personally build tech demos to showcase emerging tech and try to encourage others to do so. IBM Bluemix was great for me to bring in APIs like The Weather Channel data and text to speech to create a virtual assistant. I wrote about it online to teach others how to do so too.,Easy modular access to new functionality like text to speech. Integrates well with NodeRED.,Documentation is really hard to search through and follow along with. Needs a lot more examples and guidance. Pricing isn't clear a lot of the time. As a developer trying new stuff, I've been hit with charges and been unsure where the usage came from. Would be good for this to be easier to follow up. Had asked support staff and got no reply. The interface can be overwhleming.,8,The time taken to work out things initially was a bit of a hit as some parts were a bit confusing, however I documented these for future reference and now it's not too time consuming at all to get going.,Honestly, I didn't quite look into CloudFoundry, so I wouldn't be able to give any good feedback on this.,10,Amazon Web Services and Google App EngineWatch out....you'll be surprised, and then VERY sorry! Seems to be a great product--with limited to no support.Visual recognition demonstration for our customers. We used it for this single demonstration, which took only about a week to 10 days, and the results were presented to several levels or management and we well as 3 levels of customer management with VERY positive response. We trained the the Watson visual recognition tool with 1250 'positive' images of five different objects (250 training images for each object), along with 125 negative images (25 negative images for each object). Then we tested the visual recognition software with pictures of the same type of objects (but using none of the training images) to see how well, and how fast it performed. The positive hit rate was very good (typically 70% or better) with images of the same object, and the rejection rate was typically very good as well (again, better than 70% when the trained object was not in the image). It also did very well when we combined 2-3 objects in the same image. The really surprising thing was that the images could be screen shots (not terribly surprising perhaps), but we could also take a picture of the screen shot with a cell phone and use that--with almost identical results. (When these images were blown up they were quite grainy, so that's why we were surprised.) However, the problems we encountered with billing, technical support (or total lack thereof), quickly demonstrated that this service was not something we could use for serious work or production.,Visual recognition. We put together a number of very effective demonstrations, over a short period (7-10 days) to show our management team as well as customers how it would be done, how the Bluemix applications could be integrated with other services (eg. Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft's OneDrive) to create one very capable, automated, integrated application that could solve one of our customer's knotty problems. The visual recognition application was the only thing we tried during this 7-10 days period. Significant issues with technical and account support (there was absolutely none in any time of what would be considered a 'timely' manner, led us to realize that it was not a service we could use for production, and we therefore did not continue to try out other services. Although we didn't get to the point of using several services, the services for storage and visual recognition, as well as those for integrating with other cloud provider services (e.g., AWS) were smooth and effortless.,ALMOST EVERYTHING. Account support was virtually non-existent. We had set up a trial account on the basis of how many training images we could use (they advertised that it was something like 100 per day--but it turned out that the actual number was for the entire trial period. Thus, we almost immediately ran into our limit and could not proceed. We set up a second trial account, but couldn't get that one to work at all (with no meaningful error messages to why it wasn't working). Finally in desperation, we set up a third account tied to a personal credit card. (It was the weekend and we had to have a demonstration ready for Monday afternoon.) That third account, although setup, also would not work. (Some of the problems could have been the result of not having three separate, easily available emails, phone numbers, and billing addresses to use in setting up the accounts, which certainly exacerbated the issues.) On Monday morning we were finally able to reach someone that helped get the 'billed' account turned up--but even they admitted they could not figure out why it had not worked on Sunday. Over the period of about three days we made multiple attempts to reach both technical and account support. Generally the wait was something close to 24 hours, far, far beyond what we would be able to use in a production environment. Technical support was generally quite a bit more helpful that the account support team. The technical folks were able to get 'stuck' and non-working account working again, but the account support team was completely unable to provide any billing information. This included how much had been billed to the 'personal' credit card (the one we had to use because it was setup during the weekend when our own internal finance folks couldn't provide a company credit card), and they were completely unable to provide an actual statement, either then or for months later. One thing of particular note--the 'on-line help' feature for account services was extremely disappointing. There was absolutely no way to get any kind of billing or accounting information using the on-line services. You would think that you could, but you simply can not! We were finally able to get an accounting almost 6 months later and ONLY because it had gone to some form of 'collection' department within IBM and they were trying to get the final $24 paid. (The biggest part of the amount due from the demonstration period, which was about 7-10 days and had amounted to about $350 in charges, at least 10 times what we had expected) had been automatically charged to the 'personal' credit card we used in desperation to get an account set up so we could get a very important demonstration for our out-of-town customers who were expecting a demonstration the following Monday afternoon. However, the billing fell across two accounting months, with only about $24 in the second month, but during that account, the bank had changed their association with MasterCard to Visa and had issued new cards and rejected any automatic billing to the old card. This left a balance of $24 to be paid, which we had no clue of. We noticed that we had only received the one bill, but not the second, but again, calls to IBM were either not returned or the people we reached told us they could not find out how much was still owed or how we could pay the balance by phone. Finally, almost 6 months after our demo, we received an email from their 'collections' department. We told them that we were not going to provide every 1 cent of funds UNTIL they provided us with an accounting of the services used, etc. That took a few days and we were finally able to get the $24 resolved. We explained most of this to at least five different technical/account support people along the way. At NO time, did ANY IBM representative ever offer ANY kind of 'consideration' for the trouble we had had, even after learning that the company was unable to reimburse us for 'personal' expenses BECAUSE we could not receive a standard billing statement.,1,See previous notes. We decided, for good reason, not to pursue any real production applications with the Bluemix products because we, our management, and our customer and their management realized it would not work in a real-world, down and dirty production environment where company reputations, financial performance, and customer satisfaction were at stake!,We didn't get to the point of using CloudFoundry.,8,Didn't use,Didn't use,IBM Watson Analytics: Pros and ConsSo I used IBM Watson Analytics in a class that I was offered at my school. It was being used by our department only. It was used to give students an understanding about new technologies in the cognitive computing world. I was also lucky enough to be able to do a project on the same platform.,It can definitely parse textual data really well. It has some great features associated with it for analyzing the textual data. You don't have to know real world coding to use it.,I think they could add some more things into the user manuals. Make it compatible with HTML formats as well as it is with the doc format. Let the users have access to the instance which is as close to the jeopardy instance as possible.,8,Alteryx Analytics, RapidMiner Studio
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IBM Watson Analytics
43 Ratings
Score 8.1 out of 101
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IBM Watson Analytics Reviews

IBM Watson Analytics
43 Ratings
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Score 8.1 out of 101
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March 28, 2018

Review: "IBM Watson Analytics: A Rockstar of Data"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use IBM Watson analytics to replace our data science roles – primarily within social media. I started using it as a recommendation from a client, to get better insight (they're shifting all their software over to IBM. I'm sorry I cannot elaborate further on that). This program is basically a smart data/visual analysis that helps its clients discover patterns within data they upload, for their research. In this case, with our clients, we use it to determine their traffic through their Twitter and Facebook marketing/advertising. It helps us discover what ads are the most responsive and what content resonates best with customers.
  • Implementation of the data is fairly easy, all it requires is registration and uploading data from a spreadsheet – it's little more than copy/pasting which is pretty manageable on time
  • It's affordable – it offers a $30 plan for its "Plus" services, and $80/month for its Professional services. With a small markup, this is profitable for both us and our clients
  • Their customer support has been great – they have live personal available by phone or chat during regular business hours, and their Customer Support forums are always available 24/7. They're always quick to address an issue.
  • The accuracy of the reporting from the program relies solely on the data the user sources. There can be errors in reporting due to...well, human error, which can kind of mess up your entire data sheet
  • When you're working with a program that is a cloud-based service, decentralized reporting can mislead organizations when you're not properly balanced with the traditional checks of a governed system – again, this is a human-error issue
  • IBM advertises this as a program that can work for any user, but unless you have experience working with data analytics, it can be difficult to determine where to start. I had to look up a few tutorials online before I was able to properly get my data rolling through
Despite its shortcomings, IBM Watson Analytics does its job well. It's paired for any size organization, big or small – but realistically, if you're going to be analyzing user-data on a broad scale, it probably makes sense to use this program if you're working with a big company. Otherwise Facebook Analytics could probably do the work for you, for a cheaper price. Our social media manager has been using it to track data for a client of ours, and they have been enjoying it so far. It's a good system to determine user traffic.
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July 24, 2017

IBM Watson Analytics Review: "BlueMix-a-lot"

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
For the past year I've run a personal website on auto-pilot that runs a few thousand API calls per month against IBM Watson Alchemy APIs. Hourly, I fetch articles from HackerNews, and feed the subject line to Watson API so it will auto-categorize them for me. Users of my website are then able to browse articles that are more relevant to their interests.
  • IBM Bluemix provides a wealth of powerful APIs. The ones I tried were easy to use and required minimal training to get up to speed.
  • I'd rate the documentation 9/10 as it was easy to navigate, had good examples and explained most of the possible inputs/outputs.
  • The IBM Bluemix interface itself was horrendous. Performance is a feature, especially for a platform as pricey as Bluemix. Please cure the sluggishness so it's actually useable.
  • Billing details could be improved so it's easier to figure out how much I'm paying and why.
  • Worst customer support I've ever seen. With multiple tickets, I never heard a response. Despite being a paying customer!
For low throughput scenarios, you can get really useful data with little effort, especially when building multiple applications. For high throughput use cases, I would suggest redesigning your product to work around the really high price point of IBM Watson. Under no circumstances would I recommend IBM Bluemix as a hosting provider in contrast to AWS or Azure.
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Patrick Catanzariti profile photo
July 18, 2017

IBM Watson Analytics Review: "Bluemix is a pretty good choice for emerging tech tinkering!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I personally build tech demos to showcase emerging tech and try to encourage others to do so. IBM Bluemix was great for me to bring in APIs like The Weather Channel data and text to speech to create a virtual assistant. I wrote about it online to teach others how to do so too.
  • Easy modular access to new functionality like text to speech.
  • Integrates well with NodeRED.
  • Documentation is really hard to search through and follow along with. Needs a lot more examples and guidance.
  • Pricing isn't clear a lot of the time. As a developer trying new stuff, I've been hit with charges and been unsure where the usage came from. Would be good for this to be easier to follow up. Had asked support staff and got no reply.
  • The interface can be overwhleming.
It's well suited to corporate clients who aren't as concerned by the potential fees (as they'd be much higher developing the functionality in house). It's also very handy to have the services delivered by a company that's got the reputation of IBM as it's easier to show that this is trustworthy and will have good uptime...etc.
Read Patrick Catanzariti's full review
Terry Higbee profile photo
July 15, 2017

IBM Watson Analytics Review: "Watch out....you'll be surprised, and then VERY sorry! Seems to be a great product--with limited to no support."

Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Visual recognition demonstration for our customers. We used it for this single demonstration, which took only about a week to 10 days, and the results were presented to several levels or management and we well as 3 levels of customer management with VERY positive response. We trained the the Watson visual recognition tool with 1250 'positive' images of five different objects (250 training images for each object), along with 125 negative images (25 negative images for each object). Then we tested the visual recognition software with pictures of the same type of objects (but using none of the training images) to see how well, and how fast it performed. The positive hit rate was very good (typically 70% or better) with images of the same object, and the rejection rate was typically very good as well (again, better than 70% when the trained object was not in the image). It also did very well when we combined 2-3 objects in the same image. The really surprising thing was that the images could be screen shots (not terribly surprising perhaps), but we could also take a picture of the screen shot with a cell phone and use that--with almost identical results. (When these images were blown up they were quite grainy, so that's why we were surprised.)

However, the problems we encountered with billing, technical support (or total lack thereof), quickly demonstrated that this service was not something we could use for serious work or production.
  • Visual recognition. We put together a number of very effective demonstrations, over a short period (7-10 days) to show our management team as well as customers how it would be done, how the Bluemix applications could be integrated with other services (eg. Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft's OneDrive) to create one very capable, automated, integrated application that could solve one of our customer's knotty problems.
  • The visual recognition application was the only thing we tried during this 7-10 days period. Significant issues with technical and account support (there was absolutely none in any time of what would be considered a 'timely' manner, led us to realize that it was not a service we could use for production, and we therefore did not continue to try out other services.
  • Although we didn't get to the point of using several services, the services for storage and visual recognition, as well as those for integrating with other cloud provider services (e.g., AWS) were smooth and effortless.
  • ALMOST EVERYTHING. Account support was virtually non-existent. We had set up a trial account on the basis of how many training images we could use (they advertised that it was something like 100 per day--but it turned out that the actual number was for the entire trial period. Thus, we almost immediately ran into our limit and could not proceed. We set up a second trial account, but couldn't get that one to work at all (with no meaningful error messages to why it wasn't working). Finally in desperation, we set up a third account tied to a personal credit card. (It was the weekend and we had to have a demonstration ready for Monday afternoon.) That third account, although setup, also would not work. (Some of the problems could have been the result of not having three separate, easily available emails, phone numbers, and billing addresses to use in setting up the accounts, which certainly exacerbated the issues.) On Monday morning we were finally able to reach someone that helped get the 'billed' account turned up--but even they admitted they could not figure out why it had not worked on Sunday.
  • Over the period of about three days we made multiple attempts to reach both technical and account support. Generally the wait was something close to 24 hours, far, far beyond what we would be able to use in a production environment.
  • Technical support was generally quite a bit more helpful that the account support team. The technical folks were able to get 'stuck' and non-working account working again, but the account support team was completely unable to provide any billing information. This included how much had been billed to the 'personal' credit card (the one we had to use because it was setup during the weekend when our own internal finance folks couldn't provide a company credit card), and they were completely unable to provide an actual statement, either then or for months later.
  • One thing of particular note--the 'on-line help' feature for account services was extremely disappointing. There was absolutely no way to get any kind of billing or accounting information using the on-line services. You would think that you could, but you simply can not!
  • We were finally able to get an accounting almost 6 months later and ONLY because it had gone to some form of 'collection' department within IBM and they were trying to get the final $24 paid. (The biggest part of the amount due from the demonstration period, which was about 7-10 days and had amounted to about $350 in charges, at least 10 times what we had expected) had been automatically charged to the 'personal' credit card we used in desperation to get an account set up so we could get a very important demonstration for our out-of-town customers who were expecting a demonstration the following Monday afternoon. However, the billing fell across two accounting months, with only about $24 in the second month, but during that account, the bank had changed their association with MasterCard to Visa and had issued new cards and rejected any automatic billing to the old card. This left a balance of $24 to be paid, which we had no clue of. We noticed that we had only received the one bill, but not the second, but again, calls to IBM were either not returned or the people we reached told us they could not find out how much was still owed or how we could pay the balance by phone. Finally, almost 6 months after our demo, we received an email from their 'collections' department. We told them that we were not going to provide every 1 cent of funds UNTIL they provided us with an accounting of the services used, etc. That took a few days and we were finally able to get the $24 resolved.
  • We explained most of this to at least five different technical/account support people along the way. At NO time, did ANY IBM representative ever offer ANY kind of 'consideration' for the trouble we had had, even after learning that the company was unable to reimburse us for 'personal' expenses BECAUSE we could not receive a standard billing statement.
It is well suited to a number of applications we are pursuing, BUT, with the difficulties we encountered setting up accounts, getting billing information, fraudulent practices, NO attempt to resolve complaints, months to get bills and sort out payments, there is NO WAY ON THIS EARTH that I would ever, ever recommend using Bluemix to our customers. By the way, the ONE demo I was able to put together, at GREAT PERSONAL EXPENSE, over $350 (which due to your awful customer service resulting in me NOT being able to be reimbursed by management or the customer) was not only a huge success, but for a couple of weeks the customer asked me to repeat the demo for anyone who visited us. However, I let them know in no uncertain terms, that I could never recommend using Bluemix after my experience, and we would do much better utilizing competing services.
Read Terry Higbee's full review
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June 29, 2016

User Review: "IBM Watson Analytics: Pros and Cons"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
So I used IBM Watson Analytics in a class that I was offered at my school. It was being used by our department only. It was used to give students an understanding about new technologies in the cognitive computing world. I was also lucky enough to be able to do a project on the same platform.
  • It can definitely parse textual data really well.
  • It has some great features associated with it for analyzing the textual data.
  • You don't have to know real world coding to use it.
  • I think they could add some more things into the user manuals.
  • Make it compatible with HTML formats as well as it is with the doc format.
  • Let the users have access to the instance which is as close to the jeopardy instance as possible.
Anything with textual data would be a perfect scenario for this product as the ultimate aim for it was to create an instance which would be able to process textual data just like the way humans might do it.
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May 20, 2016

IBM Watson Analytics Review: "What, son?"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I am testing out a variety of analytics platforms to get a better understanding of which product is best to use. I typically input ad campaign data and focus on a variety of metrics to see causation and correlation between the marketing efforts and the client company's performance (website, revenue, etc.). This is a great way to verify whether or not advertising is working towards improving KPIs and figure out where to focus the spend on.
  • Great for visualizing data in an appealing way.
  • Makes analytics and the process of "asking questions" very easy for people.
  • Learning how to work the product is easy as well.
  • Ability to link to a variety of data sources.
  • Shortcuts are great, but sometimes provide a roadblock when trying to dive deeper into the data.
  • Customizing the look of charts would be great.
Watson makes it easy to do analysis. A good scenario to use it would be when trying to analyze a set of data and find insights that normally wouldn't be so easy to find when looking at the original data as a whole. When someone needs to ask a question about how a set of data points relate to each other, Watson is the way to go.
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