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IBM Watson Explorer OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Watson Explorer is #7 ranked solution in top Data Mining tools. PeerSpot users give IBM Watson Explorer an average rating of 10.0 out of 10. IBM Watson Explorer is most commonly compared to Salesforce Einstein Analytics: IBM Watson Explorer vs Salesforce Einstein Analytics. IBM Watson Explorer is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 63% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 30% of all views.
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Download the Data Mining Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: August 2022

What is IBM Watson Explorer?

IBM Watson Explorer is a cognitive exploration and content analysis platform that lets you listen to your data for advice. Explore and analyze structured, unstructured, internal, external and public content to uncover trends and patterns that improve decision-making, customer service and ROI. Leverage built-in cognitive capabilities powered by machine learning models, natural language processing and next-generation APIs to unlock hidden value in all your data. Gain a secure 360-degree view of customers, in context, to deliver better experiences for your clients.

IBM Watson Explorer was previously known as IBM WEX.

IBM Watson Explorer Customers

RIMAC, Westpac New Zealand, Toyota Financial Services, Swiss Re, Akershus University Hospital, Korean Air Lines, Mizuho Bank, Honda

IBM Watson Explorer Video

Archived IBM Watson Explorer Reviews (more than two years old)

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Devops Engineer at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Facilitates utilizing data streams that we haven't tapped into, and producing results that are tremendously useful, company-wide
Pros and Cons
    • "It is a little bit tricky to get used to the workflow of knowing how to train Watson, what can be provided, what can't be, how to provide it, how to import, export, and what it means every time you have to add a new dictionary"

    What is our primary use case?

    It's hard to say, simply because the team level is pretty big. 

    My specific use case would be taking raw, unstructured data, and using the Watson Explorer services, the NLU, the WKS, the Knowledge Studio, to create relationships between entities, and certain phrases - they always say, their "utterances" - and produce a graphical output and an Excel-type output that coincides with that graph. The goal is to give us sentiment, and break those different entities, and subject matter, out into four different buckets.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It hasn't yet, it's still under PoC. What I can say is that, of all the directors and senior managers, senior directors, and SVPs that have seen the MVP, they've been quite surprised and very positive about what it's been able to produce.

    What is most valuable?

    On the selfish side, possibly advancing my career. 

    But, really, I would say the big thing is being able to utilize some data streams that we haven't tapped into, or maybe not successfully, and being able to produce something that's tremendously useful, not just for one part of the company, but actually company-wide.

    What needs improvement?

    I haven't played with it in depth enough really to answer this so much. The scheduling is always tricky when you're trying to get a big group together. People are people, so unless you can improve the people, we're talking process, so...

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    For how long have I used the solution?

    Trial/evaluations only.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's stable. We haven't been able to put it to full production though, so I can't say with absolute assurance. But in all our MVP and through our test-case scenarios, it has produced eye-opening results, results that we really didn't expect either on the good or the negative side, on both sides, really. It has been a huge eye-opener as far as what we can and should be doing, and what we shouldn't be doing but are doing.

    How are customer service and support?

    I actually can't talk about it enough. My representative that I work with, Mauricio Albuquerque, he's been amazing. Any issue I have, anything I have a question about or something I'm looking for: no more than, typically, two days. Actually, he's usually responsive that day, if not the next. It's pretty rare that I have to wait four or five days before he can find something. 

    I first met with the Bluemix team to develop what we're using, and they got us connected with the Garage Services, and I haven't had to work too much with the Bluemix team because they just do the middleman segment.

    But Garage Services, Sonia Cyrus, she's been amazing. Dave Bellagio has just been way over the top, and Mark Scott. The entire team, they've just been awesome.

    I have to say, this is all on a PoC, and it was on some credit that we had. The credit has long expired, and they're still continuing to give me support because they have such vision. They share my vision with what this can do and how it can really change our industry, or at least within our company. They are excited about the project itself, and being able to participate in it. They are all just constantly: "Whatever you need, whatever you need. We don't care what the contract says, just whatever you need. We want to see you succeed, and we want to be part of that success. And we want to see this thing take off," just because they like it so much.

    I really can't talk enough about the team.

    How was the initial setup?

    They were really good about telling me what to expect, what to plan for, what to have ready. Usually they require all the stakeholders to go offsite. They made an exception on this one to see how it would work out. It worked out pretty well, but apparently not well enough, because if the approval goes through, then we'll have to go offsite.

    Even though they told me what to expect, I was still caught a little off-guard. The types of semi-flared emotions of who wants what, during the design/think workshop was, I won't say stressful, but you could feel tension, of the "No, this is what I want. No this is what I want!" 

    So trying to hit that alignment definitely occurred much sooner in the project. It was forced at the beginning, as opposed to coming to realize in the middle that everybody had different visions, though they thought they were talking about the same thing - and causing everything to just stop. I would say that was probably the biggest thing for me as far as being prepared.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate the product at eight out of 10. It is a little bit tricky to get used to the workflow of knowing how to train Watson, what can be provided, what can't be, how to provide it, how to import, export, and what it means every time you have to add a new dictionary or something of the like.

    But, like I said the people, higher than 10 out of 10.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    it_user845682 - PeerSpot reviewer
    Technical Director at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Reveals hidden insights within unstructured data
    Pros and Cons
    • "The valuable feature of Watson Explorer for us is data entities, and to see the hidden insights from within unstructured data."
    • "It needs better language support, to include some other languages. Also, they should improve the user interface."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are analyzing unstructured data using Watson Explorer.

    We are business partners and have been implementing it for customers for about three years already, and we are quite satisfied.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Some of our customers benefit from improved experience with their customers, and others among our customers are using it to analyze data and data entities.

    What is most valuable?

    The valuable feature of Watson Explorer for us is data entities, and being able to see hidden insights from within unstructured data.

    What needs improvement?

    It needs better language support, to include some other languages. Also, they should improve the user interface.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is fine. It's not the best, but it's fine. Issues are related to the number of documents we are crawling and indexing.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's scaling well.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We use technical support when we have problems. They help us. A few of them, we need to elaborate for them, but it's fine.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    In terms of going with this solution, in our country it's an easy choice because Watson Explorer supports our language. It's one of the only solutions they can select.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's not so complex. I think it's okay.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Sometimes our clients evaluate HPE, but usually Watson is the only product in Czech Republic.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    PeerSpot user
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    it_user845667 - PeerSpot reviewer
    Product Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Does the work of hundreds of people, reading, interpreting, and classifying articles

    What is our primary use case?

    We are constructing a heterogeneous knowledge base from scientific papers and from about 100 different publishers, around 50,000 titles of scientific journals. We are using Watson to create a big index of the articles.

    How has it helped my organization?

    If a human would do this kind of job, we would need some 200 people working all day to read and interpret the papers. This is why we chose Watson to do the job for us.

    So it's the time to read and interpret and classify all the articles.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Trial/evaluations only.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We haven't used it in production yet so I can't answer this.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have not used IBM technical support yet.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We have been using a paid index from a company called Xlibris. We saw that we needed to buy or build our own solution. We chose Watson because it has federated search and automated color. These are the main features that we needed. We also chose it because of the support in Brasil.

    In terms of the decision-making process to go with Watson, I only recommended it, and they accepted the idea of using it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Microsoft but their solution is in the cloud. We needed an on-premise solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    There are really only four solutions in this industry. What impressed me more about Watson is that it is easy to use it, not for the technical people, but for business people. The approach of the solution is 85% of the effort is from the business side, and 15% is from the technical side. It's not our main responsibility to do. The training is for the user.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    it_user845664 - PeerSpot reviewer
    Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Has helped reduce manual labor in fraud detection, but stability is an issue
    Pros and Cons
      • "I would say, give some kind of a community edition, a free edition. A lot of companies do, even Amazon gives you some kind of trial and error opportunities. If they could provide something like that, it would be good."
      • "Stability is actually one of the areas that could use improvement. Setting it up is always tough. Setting Explorer requires experts, but also the underlying platform is not that stable. So it really needs a good expert to keep it running."

      What is our primary use case?

      It's primarily used with business analytics and also to take care of some of the fraud detection.

      I've been using it for two years and it has been working well.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Implementing the solution really helped with manual labor, it takes care of a lot of FT work. For example, you could have 30 or 40 physical inspectors doing fraud detection, versus using this to get there, to take care of it.

      What is most valuable?

      Valuable features are the aggregation mode, that's one of the tool sets. And then, training the models, it can also be utilized for that.

      What needs improvement?

      I would say, give some kind of a community edition, a free edition. A lot of companies do, even Amazon gives you some kind of trial and error opportunities. If they could provide something like that, it would be good.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      One to three years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stability is actually one of the areas that could use improvement. Setting it up is always tough. Setting Explorer requires experts, but also the underlying platform is not that stable. So it really needs a good expert to keep it running.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is fine, it can scale, but it definitely needs experts to do that.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      IBM technical support, I've worked with them multiple times. I would say there's a lot of improvement that could happen. Compared to any other organization, the speed is an issue. By the time your escalation goes up - it needs a lot of escalation. If you need to go up to the technical account manager, all the way up, it takes hours. People are looking to get the result in minutes. Nowadays, if you're really looking at hours or days, it's a little bit old-fashioned.

      Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

      We actually had nothing before this. People had a business problem, and they came to us, and this was available, part of a suite, and we started using it.

      Our most important criterion when selecting a vendor is the supportability; long-term, like in a brand name, that they actively support it, and I know they'll stand behind it. It's not that you'll go with it and they change in a couple of years from now, or the company is not there at all. That's not something we should be a part of.

      We went with IBM primarily because Watson Explorer is a bit differentiated. I don't think the others have that kind of deep analytics. If you have that, in a developer community in the space, it can really go even further. For our specific use case, IBM was the right fit.

      How was the initial setup?

      It was complex.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Teradata was one of them, Oracle was definitely there in the mix, Amazon as well.

      What other advice do I have?

      Look at the entire gambit, and look for your specific use case, or specific business problem you're trying to solve. Analytics is a big, wide area, so you want to really make sure. Look for the top-notch players. IBM is one of them, and I think you should be looking at the entire group. So rather than looking at, "I want to go to cloud, I might pick up Amazon," you need to consider the whole thing.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      PeerSpot user
      Sales Engineer at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
      Real User
      We feed natural language to Watson APIs and get JSON payloads with cognitive feedback
      Pros and Cons
      • "We take natural language that was happening in our repositories and our application and then feed it to the Watson APIs. We receive JSON payloads as an API response to get cognitive feedback from the repository data."
      • "Ease of use is pretty good as is the standardization of not actually having to have my own natural learning algorithms, just to use the Watson APIs."
      • "More cognitive feedback would be good. The natural language analysis is great, the sentiment analyzers are great. But I would just like to see more... innovation done with the Watson platform."

      What is our primary use case?

      I was just running a PoC with a showcase between our integration on our platform to the Watson STK essentially; using the cognitive responses that we could give it, using natural language and sentiment analysis.

      Essentially, we would take natural language that was happening in our repositories and our application and then feed it to the Watson APIs, and then we would receive JSON payloads as an API response to get cognitive feedback from the repository data.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It's been good, it's helped further the relationship with IBM. We're also discussing feature integration points for Watson on the GitHub platform.

      What is most valuable?

      Ease of use is pretty good and the standardization of not actually having to have my own natural learning algorithms, just to use the Watson APIs.

      What needs improvement?

      More cognitive feedback would be good. The natural language analysis is great, the sentiment analyzers are great. But I would just like to see more - I don't know what those ideas are - just more innovation done with the Watson platform, that would be interesting.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      Trial/evaluations only.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It's stable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      As far as I know it seems scalable.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      I have not had to use tech support.

      How was the initial setup?

      Straightforward, APIs.

      What other advice do I have?

      The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are their 

      • knowledge
      • expertise.

      I would rate it a seven. It's easy to use but I'm still in PoC stages.

      Be sure you have an understanding or concept in terms of the goal that you want. Because if you don't have a goal in mind when using those APIs, then the data that comes back is just noise at that point.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      PeerSpot user
      it_user840897 - PeerSpot reviewer
      Head of Commercialization at Woodside Energy
      Real User
      Ingests, retrieves information from a range of sources; enables dissecting questions in context and answering them
      Pros and Cons
      • "For me, as a user, the most valuable feature is the ability to ingest and then retrieve information from a range of separate sources; the ability to dissect questions in context and actually answer them."

        What is our primary use case?

        We use WEX for one of our applications called Watson for HSEQ. It's performing brilliantly. We bring together over 11 databases, process over 1.2 million documents, and effectively, from there we can do great visualizations. Also, Watson is starting to do basic analysis for us as well. It's really good.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Previously we'd have a set of health and safety analysts who would be the key focal points for doing work to understand health and safety risks; so a very small number of people. But, of course, health and safety is a challenge for everybody, and through WEX and through our Watson HSEQ solution, we've managed to get engagement across at least one-third of our workforce, so over 1,300 people; also, a 25% reduction in health and safety incidents.

        What is most valuable?

        I'm a user more than I am a developer, but for us it's the ability to ingest and then retrieve information from a range of separate sources; the ability to dissect questions in context and actually answer them. 

        Then separately, the ability for us to then take the output from WEX, I believe - this is me talking to the developers here - taking the outputs from WEX and then processing that to create the visualizations and the analysis that we need.

        What needs improvement?

        WEX is more a platform, I believe, than it is the application. 

        I could talk about what I'm looking for in the application. We've done visualizations and we can do basic analysis with the system as it stands. Where we're looking to take it is implementing it into workflows, so the workers on the line can actually understand the risks that they're exposing themselves to and then address them on the fly. So that's fantastic. 

        And then the final one is, it's not prediction, but maybe anticipation. So when people are put at risk, we'll be implementing solutions shortly that will help people anticipate the risks and the dangers they're exposing themselves to so they can control them.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        Trial/evaluations only.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        If I talk about stability, it's probably more related to our own computer systems, which are terribly unstable. I've never had a problem with WEX or the Watson for HSEQ solution. That's been fine.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Again, 1.2 million documents and processing that. That scale is massive, it's 30 years of information for us. It's great.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        I've not had to use technical support.

        What other advice do I have?

        I think we'll get it to a 10, but I think at the moment it's got to be a good eight or nine out of 10 at least. I think for me, safety is about a conversation. It's about engagement, and we've certainly achieved the engagement that we're looking for, but we'd love to stretch the technical solution a little further.

        My advice would be, go talk to IBM about Watson for HSEQ.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        PeerSpot user
        it_user840864 - PeerSpot reviewer
        Architect at Rakuten
        Real User
        Makes us more productive but ease of use needs improvement

        What is our primary use case?

        The main use case is FAQ for the user.

        It works for almost 80% of the use case coverage. It works.

        How has it helped my organization?

        More productive, we are able to move employees to other productive to work.

        What needs improvement?

        I would like to see the ease of use improved so that more junior people, like a business analyst, could directly improve the model. That would be nice.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        Trial/evaluations only.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's always improving. Sometimes the service stops.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability is okay.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        We aren't using technical support. Sometimes we use troubleshooting. They are helpful.

        What other advice do I have?

        I would rate it a seven out of 10. It needs better availability. In addition, as mentioned earlier, it needs easier usage for more junior-level personnel.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        PeerSpot user
        it_user840843 - PeerSpot reviewer
        Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
        Real User
        We are working on integrating voice commands in banking apps with this technology

        What is our primary use case?

        I'm working on development of an application with a bank, Banco Bradesco, and they use it to integrate with Watson. It's a new technology for the bank and they continue learning technical and other skills for this technology, to apply this app in the future, to integrate with other technologies in the bank as well.

        How has it helped my organization?

        The new feature of the application is voice commands, and last week the bank began marketing to educate, to talk to people about voice commands in the app; that it is a new feature in the bank's apps.

        What is most valuable?

        Today, integration of voice commands is the focus of development.

        What needs improvement?

        In the next three months, Bradesco will start to working with the AIX operating system. Today it is working on Solaris but all of the machines are being switched.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        Less than one year.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        No, it's not yet stable. It's a beta only, currently, for testing. I have one month to turn this product into something stable, and then invite people to download the installers. But today, no.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        The bank, today, has 24 million customers using the website and other devices to get money, to pay bills. It is the second largest bank in Brazil. It's a large institution. It has thousands of employees in Brazil.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        IBM has been working with Bradesco since 1968, I think. The support is very good. IBM has a team within Bradesco in Sao Paolo. The team has 10 IBM employees, working every day, 24 hours. It's very interesting. It's very good.

        What other advice do I have?

        On a scale of one to 10, for me this product is an 11.

        I love WebSphere, I love the integration with Watson. It's very interesting. I am working with a great IBM team, and the support is very good. I'm working in Scopus, it's a technology partner for Bradesco.

        For me, it's a very interesting integration, Scopus and IBM. In the past I started a relationship with Oracle, but you have problems with this integration, Oracle doesn't have a good team to work with. IBM is working very well, for me it's good.

        Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
        PeerSpot user
        it_user840831 - PeerSpot reviewer
        President at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
        Real User
        Facilitates easily pulling together lots of different information and drill-down in a smarter way than other analytics tools
        Pros and Cons
        • "The ability to easily pull together lots of different pieces of information and drill down in a smarter way than has been possible with other analytics tools is key. Watson is all based on a set of AI and deep learning, machine-learning capabilities, and it is looking behind the scenes at some relationships that you likely would not have spotted on your own. It's pulling things together, categorizing some things, that are not something that you might have seen on your own."
        • "Much of IBM operates this way, where they have sets of tools that are in the middleware space, and it becomes the customer's responsibility or the business partner's responsibility to develop full solutions that take advantage of that middleware. I think IBM's finding itself in that spot with Watson-related technologies as well, where the capabilities to do really interesting and useful things for customers is there, but somebody still has to build it. Is that going to be the customer? Are they going to be willing to take on that responsibility themselves"
        • "Small businesses will probably have a little harder time getting into it, just because of the amount of resources that they have available, both financial and time, but it really is a solution that should work for them."

        How has it helped my organization?

        We're still in the exploratory stages. We're a business partner for IBM's customers, so we're wrapping our hands around it to be able to explain it and show the value to customers. We haven't been able to really take this to market much with customers yet, but we're hoping to.

        What is most valuable?

        The ability to easily pull together lots of different pieces of information and drill down in a smarter way than has been possible with other analytics tools. Watson is all based on a set of AI and deep learning, machine-learning capabilities, and it is looking behind the scenes at some relationships that you likely would not have spotted on your own. It's pulling things together, categorizing some things, that are not something that you might have seen on your own.

        What needs improvement?

        Much of IBM operates this way, where they have sets of tools that are in the middleware space, and it becomes the customer's responsibility or the business partner's responsibility to develop full solutions that take advantage of that middleware.

        I think IBM's finding itself in that spot with Watson-related technologies as well, where the capabilities to do really interesting and useful things for customers is there, but somebody still has to build it. Is that going to be the customer? Are they going to be willing to take on that responsibility themselves? Or is a third-party, a vendor, going to create solutions and make them available? So that ecosystem still needs to happen.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        One to three years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        I think it will be a stable, reliable solution for our customers.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Small businesses will probably have a little harder time getting into it, just because of the amount of resources that they have available, both financial and time, but it really is a solution that should work for them. I think there's just going to be some time needed for them to understand that it actually could.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        Getting to know who the appropriate teams are is actually a challenge. It's a challenge with IBM on anything, and we're newer to this space than in other places where we've worked with IBM in the past. One of the goals for us at this Think 2018 conference, is to sit down with some people and then be able to get to know the teams a little better.

        How was the initial setup?

        It's straightforward. It's browser-based, you don't need special tools. It's a cloud offering. It walks you through most of the things that you need to do to get started, so no real difficulties here.

        What other advice do I have?

        I don't think there's a figure factor about getting into the space. I think for most people it's just so new that they don't know a) what it could do for them or b) how to go about actually taking advantage of it.

        I'd rate this product an eight out of 10. That has less to do with the actual technology piece, but more in the warm and fuzzies around it: How you bring it to market, how you make customers aware of it; all of those kinds of programs.

        Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: IBM Business Partner.
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