IBM announced the Watson Data Platform as a tool to help companies gain strategic value in Oil & Gas exploration.
There are vast amounts of “dark” data generated in the oil field that can be analyzed to rapidly make important operational and business decisions. Many times, exploration companies wrestle with large amounts of structured and unstructured data, along with being able to put that data into business context. Typically, these companies do not have the knowledge or skills to leverage, manage, and fully exploit the data they collect. IDC Energy Insights estimates that 80% of the data a company collects sits idle and unexploited, adding little value to the business.
Because of the complexity of working with large data volumes at high speeds, and because of the specific Oil & Gas business processes, IBM has been building a large ecosystem of service providers to support Watson. IBM’s goal is to allow data professionals to use the language they are comfortable with and the services they need. IBM has incorporated SQL, Python, R, Java, and Scala into Watson Data Platform as well as more than 20 ecosystem partners to extend the platform services. IDC Energy Insights believes that cognitive computing is the way of the future and that 2001: A Space Odyssey is actually becoming a reality. Oddly enough, in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the supercomputer antagonist called HAL, was an IBM product. Maybe the cognitive assistant should have been named Watson.
Cognitive analytics represents a significant shift with regards to how business will operate in the future. Instead of hunting for data or sifting through numerous applications and other data sources to hopefully find answers, professionals should be able to leverage cognitive computing by talking in natural languages with their cognitive assistant (in this case, Watson) to provide the requisite information to analyze, predict and solve problems.