Building a cognitive business at IBM Insight at World of Watson 2016

Big Data Evangelist, IBM

Building a cognitive business requires that you drive artificial intelligence, big data analytics and machine learning into all your applications. On 30 August 2016, I participated in a CrowdChat in which subject matter experts (SMEs) and industry influencers discussed how to build a cognitive business. Here are some high points from what I contributed.

What does cognitive mean to you?

  • Cognitive is the capability of systems to accelerate, enhance, emulate and automate functions that we normally associate with human thinking.
  • Cognitive computing refers to intelligent systems that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to do pattern recognition, face recognition, voice recognition, emotion analytics and other high-level cognitive functions.
  • Many cognitive systems use unsupervised learning to automate sensing and detection of deep patterns and nuances in complex data sets. Machine learning helps cognitive systems understand new concepts.

What major developments do you anticipate in the cognitive era?

What tools and software do you currently use to solve data problems?

How is cognitive computing changing best practices in enterprise app development?

  • Cognitive computing is changing best practices in enterprise app development by requiring coders, data scientists and SMEs to collaborate in ongoing development of the core IP—statistical, data-driven, machine-learning algorithms
  • Cognitive computing is ramping up the need for ongoing testing and refinement of data-driven algorithms through sourcing of training data from myriad sources, including crowdsourcing networks.
  • See my KDNuggets column on pattern curators of the cognitive era and their critical importance in this new app development paradigm.
  • Consumers, especially millennials, are coming to expect intelligent cognitive chatbots. The speed, quality and accuracy of chatbot answers continue to improve, thanks to advances in IBM Watson and other cognitive services.

How can app developers most effectively add cognitive smarts to their code?

  • App developers can add cognitive smarts to their code by tapping into the application programming interfaces (APIs) provided by Watson and other cognitive back-end cloud services.
  • App developers can add cognitive smarts to their code by tapping into rich libraries of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), sentiment analysis, image recognition and other cognitive algorithms on their development platform, which is increasingly a cloud service such as Watson. should app developers and data scientists collaborate on cognitive projects?

  • Having a common integrated development environment (IDE), such as IBM Data Science Experience, is one key enabler for collaboration between data scientists and app developers.
  • Another key to collaboration is for app developers and data scientists to have a common grounding in learning cognitive algorithms and methodologies, especially supervised learning.
  • Yet another key to collaboration is for app developers and data scientists to be embedded in strategic projects driving key business initiatives.

What are the benefits of connecting over data collected from smart devices and the Internet of Things?

  • You can’t possibly collect—in other words, store and persist—the exabytes of data that flow from a massive Internet of Things data stream. Often, connecting to that data on the fly and running streaming analytics on it without the need to store it long term is best.
  • The primary payload you’re trying to distill from cognitive analytics are the key correlations, outliers and other patterns of interest. The raw data is secondary. If you have captured the former, no need to keep all the latter.

What is the best way for developers to get started with connecting the Internet of Things to their projects?

What are you most looking forward to at IBM Insight at World of Watson 2016?

  • Sunrise in Las Vegas. After that, the buzz of the first day keynote. After that, pretty much everything else.
  • We have a full roster of industry influencers, analysts and other experts participating in IBM Insight at World of Watson 2016. The conversations are always my chief takeaway. I learn tons. This conference will be my eleventh straight at all its incarnations: Information on Demand, Insight and now Insight at World of Watson.

Building a cognitive business will be a key theme at the upcoming IBM Insight at World of Watson 2016, 24–27 October 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Consider checking out some of these relevant sessions at the conference. And use the session preview tool to see further details:

Advanced analytics

  • 2302: Strategic to Operational – Analytics and Decision Optimization applications at the Ford Motor Company
  • 2666: It’s All About the Client – Even for Insurance Providers
  • 2976: Predicting Employee Retention for Data-Driven Human Resources with IBM SPSS at Coca-Cola
  • 3085: Creating a Digital Supply Chain at Monsanto
  • 3091: Production Planning and Scheduling Transformation at WestRock
  • 3416: Data Scientists

Analytics for business

  • 3427: Increasing Safety and Efficiency with Analytics and Cognitive Computing in the Internet of Things

Enterprise content management

  • 1794: Applying IBM Predictive analytics to IBM Case Manager to Create Cognitive Solutions


  • 3416: Data Scientists – Why Organizations Want One, What They Can Do and How To Spot a Fake
  • 3427: Increasing Safety and Efficiency with Analytics and Cognitive Computing in the Internet of Things


  • 2692: Real Time Cognitive Personalization across USAA member interactions

IBM Watson

  • 2845: Cognitive and Predictive Dashboards using the Watson API 

You’ll benefit from attending IBM Insight at World of Watson 2016, which represents the continuing evolution of the event formerly known as IBM Insight. Register today for the event. We look forward to seeing you there.