January 18, 2018, was a momentous day for Ventiv Technology: We announced that IBM Watson Analytics is now available as part of our risk management software solution, RiskConsole Advance. Why do we think this is such an important development? In short, because with Watson Analytics, we’ve reimagined what advanced analytics can do for the risk, claims, and safety profession. Now, users at all levels are now empowered to perform automated predictive analytics. No longer do our clients need to incur the cost-prohibitive and time-consuming work of engaging outside data scientists.
First, a little context. When people hear “IBM Watson,” they think about the Watson supercomputer that won the TV gameshow Jeopardy!. Or they think about the Watson that plays chess against grand masters. There are, in fact, many different Watson cognitive computing solutions. The section below (which is based on a blog entry from from IBM’s Big Data & Analytics Hub) explains where Watson Analytics fits in to the Watson family.
A brief introduction to cognitive computing systems
Cognitive computing systems like Watson are trained using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms to sense, predict, infer and, in some ways, think. The Watson brand includes industry solutions and applications such as:
- Watson Discovery Advisor, which helps researchers explore hypotheses
- Watson Engagement Advisor for end-user interactions
- Watson for Wealth Management, which assists financial advisors
- Watson for Oncology, which provides physicians with cancer treatment suggestions
Watson Analytics, meanwhile, leverages Watson’s unique cognitive capabilities in three ways:
- Provides semantic recognition of concepts in your data such as time, place, and costs
- Provides recommended starting points for analysis and targets for prediction
- Enables interaction in natural language, allowing the exploration of data through simple questions you might ask a colleague
To build on item three, above, Watson Analytics recognizes questions and automatically creates the best recommended visualization. No more selecting a chart type and dragging and dropping variables—the system takes care of the complicated matters of data discovery by providing the user with smart data discovery, guided analytics and meaningful insights.
How Watson Analytics works in RiskConsole Advance
Now, business users can explore their data, discover relationships, test correlations, and develop the hypotheses that let them chart an informed course of action. (Check out our analytics webpage to see how it all works.)
The fact that Watson Analytics is highly intuitive is significant in that it makes it easy for users to get up and running quickly. You simply type in a question using the kinds of search techniques you would for any consumer search engine (like Google, for example) or automated personal assistant (like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, or Google Assistant). You might ask, “What’s driving my claims costs?” and Watson Analytics churns through the data and comes back to you with answers for you to explore.
We at Ventiv Technology are proud to be the first and only provider in our sector of the risk technology market to offer Watson Analytics as an embedded, fully integrated component of our software solution. We’ll be going into greater depth in the weeks ahead about how this exciting new offering can dramatically improve the performance of risk, claims, and safety departments. For now, however, I hope I’ve given you a better understanding of how RiskConsole Advance with Watson Analytics differs from the other analytics offerings out there.
Kristi McFarlin is Ventiv Technology's vice president of analytics. Contact Kristi at firstname.lastname@example.org.