March 15, 2021 By Katelyn Rothney 3 min read

The impact of natural language processing

March 2021 saw the release of a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of IBM. The Forrester Total Economic Impact study aims to examine the potential return on investment (ROI) an enterprise may realize when deploying the IBM Watson natural language processing (NLP) portfolio of solutions. The purpose of the study is to provide readers with a framework to evaluate the potential financial impact of implementing these solutions.

Enterprise businesses are overflowing with data that must be hunted down and sorted through by knowledge workers. This data contains valuable information and insights that employees need. It also offers a window into predictable trends and customer behavior. However, in many businesses, this information is housed in disparate repositories and composed of structured and unstructured data types.

Legacy enterprise search systems aren’t sophisticated enough to find specific answers, making knowledge work frustrating and tedious. Modern knowledge work is non-routine, reactive, and heavily dependent on workers who can quickly find information and synthesize it into informed business decisions.


Intelligent search solutions like IBM Watson Discovery leverage natural language solutions, including intelligent search (also referred to as enterprise search or cognitive search), text analytics and machine learning capabilities, to augment knowledge workers’ strengths. Text analysis solutions such as IBM Natural Language Understanding (NLU) extract metadata from passages, images, tables, and other enterprise documents — like contracts and technical manuals — and transform them into actionable insights.

“If we had not moved to an NLU platform like Watson, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve any growth,” says the chief of product at an online media company. “Journalists don’t want to click a button and sit there and wait 10 minutes for the system to come back with the result. So one of the most important things was that Watson was able to return a result very quickly and accurately.”


See results with NLP

To compile a thorough report, the Forrester team took the aggregated experiences of four IBM clients who are using IBM Watson Discovery and Watson Natural Language Understanding. Forrester’s analysts discovered the following benefits that an enterprise can expect to see over three years:

  • Knowledge workers who previously spent 20% of their time on text analysis/search reduced task time by 50%
  • Replacing costly legacy systems saves $150,000 a year
  • The efficiency and accuracy of the solutions deliver a 5% increase in growth per year
  • Increased worker productivity improves quality of work and customer satisfaction
  • Workers start seeing the benefit of the solution after 2 hours of training
  • It takes just 13 months to recover the cost of adoption and implementation
  • An organization can experience a net present value of $4.86M and an ROI of 383%

“We were able to reduce the time that lawyers spend on answering the questions,” says the cofounder and CEO of a legal services business. “A question comes in to the lawyer, and in the background Watson is already giving some proposals of possible snippets of good answers which could be useful for answering the question.”


What’s next?

To further explore the report results and learn more about IBM Watson Discovery’s award-winning NLU capabilities, IBM is hosting an exclusive analyst overview webinar. Hear Forrester Principal Analyst Mike Gualtieri in conversation with report author and TEI consultant Sarah Musto as they discuss the implications of Forrester’s comprehensive economic impact study.


IBM digital event:

Expert overview of cost savings and business benefits improved by employing IBM Watson Discovery and Natural Language Understanding


Wednesday, March 31, 2021


1:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time


1 hour

Register today to save your seat

Was this article helpful?

More from Artificial intelligence

Getting ready for artificial general intelligence with examples

12 min read - Imagine a world where machines aren't confined to pre-programmed tasks but operate with human-like autonomy and competence. A world where computer minds pilot self-driving cars, delve into complex scientific research, provide personalized customer service and even explore the unknown. This is the potential of artificial general intelligence (AGI), a hypothetical technology that may be poised to revolutionize nearly every aspect of human life and work. While AGI remains theoretical, organizations can take proactive steps to prepare for its arrival by…

Breaking Boundaries: PostgreSQL 16 is now available on IBM Cloud

2 min read - PostgreSQL Version 16 is now available on IBM Cloud®. The latest version of IBM Cloud® Databases for PostgreSQL includes critical features that offer unmatched reliability and scalability for clients' data storage needs. Advanced features like enhanced parallel query performance and accelerated indexing provide significant performance gains to your applications. With IBM Cloud's robust ecosystem of extensions and plugins, PostgreSQL v16 empowers customers to build and manage sophisticated, high-performance applications easily while continuing to improve data management at scale. In addition, customers can continue to access powerful IBM…

IBM and TechD partner to securely share data and power insights with gen AI

3 min read - As technology expands, at TechD, we know that the quality of generative AI (gen AI) depends on accurate data sourcing. A reliable and trustworthy data source is essential for sharing information across departments. Through the implementation of generative AI we are able to expand our knowledge to many individuals easily, quickly and efficiently becoming a resource. In today's rapidly evolving digital world, immediate responses are crucial for delivering outstanding user experiences. Our partnership with IBM facilitates the delivery of scalable…

IBM Newsletters

Get our newsletters and topic updates that deliver the latest thought leadership and insights on emerging trends.
Subscribe now More newsletters