How to build a future-proof business: 4 real-world applications of cognitive solutions

By | 5 minute read | September 28, 2016

Over the last decade, the “data revolution” has touched every aspect of our work and personal lives. Today’s business challenges have never been more complex, and the critical insights that can address these challenges are often buried in an avalanche of data. In today’s marketplace, the business that wins, is the business that “thinks.” The viability of a company in the marketplace now depends on its ability to use data and analytics to fuel a thinking business.

Companies in industries as diverse as healthcare, retail, banking and manufacturing are already using cognitive technologies to reshape business and do things faster and more efficiently than ever before. But what does it really mean to be a “cognitive business?” And how do you start putting data and insights to work to accelerate your journey to becoming one?

At this year’s World of Watson conference in Las Vegas on Oct. 24-27, thousands of innovators, business leaders, developers and educators will come together to explore technologies and strategies that will help propel your company into the future. Learn how businesses, across industries, are overcoming obstacles, improving decision-making and customer service, predicting trends before they’re trending, and using the right data to drive growth and revenue.

Moving at the Speed of Data with Cognitive Computing

Businesses are already benefiting from the cost savings, efficiency and collaboration that cognitive technologies provide. Businesses that take a digital-first approach are enjoying a significant competitive advantage. But even market leaders are finding it more difficult to increase or maintain their lead without find newer, faster, more intelligent solutions. The volume, velocity and variety of data have surpassed the limits of what programmable IT systems can handle. More than 80 percent of business data is unstructured, in the form of emails, social media posts, documents, images, audio recordings, sensor data and more. Businesses are increasingly realizing the need for cognitive solutions that also include next gen content analytics.

Our current IT systems are being rapidly replaced by cognitive systems that continuously understand, reason and learn like humans do. Unlike older, programmable systems, a cognitive system can ingest and understand large amounts of data, in all its forms (including unstructured). A cognitive system learns from all the data it reads, and from each interaction with the experts and users that train it. It learns from both successes and failures, and it never stops learning.

Here are four real-world applications of cognitive computing to inspire you to get started:

Medtronic: Empowering Diabetes Patients to Live Better With Data

The number of people with diabetes in the U.S. is growing at an alarming pace and Medtronic wanted to do something different, to help. By using cognitive computing, the company is transforming the lives of people with diabetes. With Watson, Medtronic has collected 125 million patient days of anonymous data from insulin pumps and glucose monitors (enough information to fill 20 percent of the books in the Library of Congress). This data was then combined and analyzed it to find trends and patterns, and discover new clues that can advance the treatment of diabetes.

Medtronic partnered with Watson to also launch a predictive diabetes management solution. This cognitive app called “SugarWise with Watson” uses artificial intelligence and cognitive computing to predict important patterns and trends based on analysis of a patient’s insulin level, data from continuous glucose monitors and nutritional data. The goal to help people understand how their behavior affects their glucose level, in real time, and to help them make better choices to improve their health. Watson-Powered “Concierge” Customizes Shopping for Gifts

Gourmet foods and floral gifts retailer 1-800-Flowers is making waves for implementing artificial intelligence technology into their web and mobile shopping experiences. The retailer recently rolled out a Watson-powered “gift concierge” that uses cognitive capabilities to tailor product recommendations for shoppers, enhancing customer service and sales. As shoppers use the concierge GWYN (Gifts When You Need) multiple times, the system learns more about their needs and continuously enhances their shopping experiences over time.
GWYN uses existing customer data and Watson’s cognitive APIs to match gifts with the occasion, personality traits of the shopper, previous customer history and more. GWYN also enables lightning-fast searches on 1-800-Flowers’ whole inventory across nine brands and thousands of products, from flowers to cookies to teddy bears.


Kia Motors: Identifying the Social Media Influencers That Matter

Every year, Kia Motors spend a lot of time and money on creating memorable Super Bowl advertisements. For its seventh Super Bowl presence, the auto manufacturer partnered with Watson to identify the best “social media influencers” who could help promote Kia’s message before and during the 60-second TV spot.

Watson read thousands of social media posts to identify the top influencers who also exhibited the personality traits that Kia was interested in targeting, like “openness to change” and “artistic interest.” Watson selected social media influencers like actor James Maslow and musician Wesley Stromberg, both of whom have hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers. Kia then sent fun, colorful socks to 100 influencers who posted photos and messages on Twitter with Kia’s hashtag #AddPizzazz. Overall, the campaign helped Kia position its Optima as innovative and fun, unleashed the power of relevant and popular influencers, and helped the brand release ad spots early to generate social media buzz before, and during, the Super Bowl.

Woodside Oil & Gas: Tapping Into Tribal Knowledge to Improve Operational Efficiency

Woodside is a global leader in oil and gas for over half a century with some of the largest oil rig structures on the planet, in some of the most remote parts of the ocean. Gas platforms are incredibly expensive and dangerous to operate, and require real-time monitoring of thousands of inputs, 24/7, by a crew living in the middle of the ocean. To remain competitive, Woodside wanted to streamline company-wide access to their archives, tribal knowledge and the contextual relevance of this information.

By applying deep learning to shorten employee learning curves, and using cognitive solutions to drive decision-making, Watson enabled Woodside to mine millions of documents that reveal critical insights to their engineers instantly, all in a language their engineers clearly understand. With Watson, Woodside is saving time and money, finding the right answers faster and making safer and better decisions across the company.

The Future is Cognitive: Come be Part of it at World of Watson

Cognitive businesses create usable and meaningful knowledge from data to expand everyone’s expertise, continuously learning and adapting to outthink the needs of ever-changing markets. Cognitive systems are able to put content into context, and quickly find the proverbial needle in a haystack, identifying new patterns and actionable insights in ALL available data.

Is your business winning with data? Do you want to learn more about what it means to be a cognitive business? Register today to attend the World of Watson, 2016 to learn how these companies and many others are already disrupting their industries with cognitive. Get your ticket today!

Ready for World of Watson?

Most Popular Articles