Data, Discover and Display – the new Watson Analytics User Experience

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Data, Discover and Display – the new Watson Analytics User Experience

The new IBM Watson Analytics user interface has been redesigned and focused around interacting with data – adding data, discovering insights and displaying your findings. The IBM Design Thinking process was used to support and focus the new design on the user’s analytical journey. The result? A powerful, intuitive and easy-to-use, self-service data analytics and visualization platform.

This blog provides a quick overview of the main features in the new Watson Analytics user interface. For more details, check out these other resources:

For a quick tour of the new Watson Analytics, check out this video:

New Home page

It’s all about the three D’s – Data, Discover and Display. The new Watson Analytics Home page organizes your content and workflow into these three key areas.


  • Data – Import, manage and refine your data. Quickly launch new data explorations.
  • Discover – Explore your data by asking natural language questions, using the suggested starting points or building your own visualizations.  Organize your discoveries and visualizations into Discovery sets.
  • Display – Use visualizations from your Discovery sets to build your own custom data stories with dashboards and infographics.

Plus, there’s also IBM Watson Analytics  for Social Media, the new Expert Storybooks and the new Analytics Exchange.

Navigating the new user experience

Use the new navigation menu to switch between your open assets and get back to the Home page.  Watson Analytics for Social Media and the new Analytics Exchange are also accessed from this menu.


Hover over an item in the list and click the X to close that item. An asterisk symbol (*) next to an item in the list means that the item hasn’t been saved yet.

TIP:  Click on the IBM Watson Analytics logo as a shortcut back to the Home page from a Refine, Discovery, or Display item.


Asking questions across all of your data

The ability to ask natural language questions and get automatic insights has been expanded throughout Watson Analytics, improving the overall analytical guidance and journey.

In addition to asking questions about a specific data set, you can now ask a question across all of your data sets. The Data and Discover tabs both include a dedicated question box for this feature. The suggested starting points are ranked by relevance, indicate which data set was matched and include thumbnail images that represent the visualizations for that related analysis.


Of course, you can also click an individual data set and ask a question just about that specific data set too.


Data … is where it all starts

Got data?  The Data tab is the starting place for most of your projects; where you import, manage, access and shape your data. Import your data from any of the available data sources or formats and then quickly launch into exploring and visualizing the data.


Getting your data into Watson Analytics is quick and easy using the New data button.  Add sample data, retrieve files from local or online storage sites like Box, connect to a database or extract social media data.


Easily manage all of the data that you’ve imported into Watson Analytics by renaming, deleting, and moving the assets. Create and arrange folders to better organize your assets.  Take existing data and replace it completely or refine it with the built-in data preparation refinement features.

When you’re ready to explore and visualize your data, one click on a data set is all it takes to get you to the Discover process.

Discover … insights from your data

The Discover tab gives you multiple powerful paths to explore and visualize your data.

  • Discover insights by typing in questions in natural language
  • Use the suggested starting points
  • Build your own visualization from scratch
  • Use predictive analysis to see what drives a certain target field
  • Use the insights from the cognitive side panel

TIP:  For users of Watson Analytics classic, the new Discover tab combines the previous features of Explore and Predict into a new, single location.

Start out by asking questions about your data and use the suggested starting points or “insights” …


or build your own visualization.


The visualizations you discover and create are saved in a collection called a ‘Discovery Set’. Discovery Sets organize multiple visualizations for the same data set into a tabbed workspace. The cognitive Discoveries panel on right side provides additional insights that are relevant to the current fields you are visualizing.


After creating your Discovery Sets, you can then use the visualizations from them to build dashboards and infographics in Display.

Display … and share your data story

After discovering the insights in your data, use Display to build and communicate your data story to others by creating dashboards and infographics based on the discoveries you’ve found in your data. Simply browse through your discoveries and selectively drag the visualizations you want onto the dashboard canvas.


You can edit the columns and visualization types for a discovery right within Display.


You can also set filters globally across all tabs, or per tab.


Share the results:  When you’ve finished building a display, you can share it by email, download, link or social media.


Watson Analytics for Social Media

Looking to better understand topic trends and gain insights from social media? You can try IBM Watson Analytics for Social Media for free for 10 days.

Open Watson Analytics for Social Media from the navigation menu.


Take the pulse of your audience and gain greater visibility into a topic or market by spotting trends and discovering new insights in data across multiple social channels. Watson Analytics for Social Media provides guided data exploration, automated predictive analytics and automatic dashboard creation for exceptionally insightful discoveries, all on the cloud.


Expert Storybooks

Looking for your own personal analytics mentor to help guide you through the analytics journey end to end? Import your data into an Expert Storybook and see how these guided analytic templates can help.

Expert Storybooks combine visualizations, insights and navigation into one package that ‘walks’ you through your data for a specific industry, domain or business problem. You can find an existing Storybook on IBM Analytics Exchange and apply it to your own data.


Already an analytics expert and want to build your own Expert Storybook? That’s possible too! All you need is a collection of visualizations and insights that could apply to other data sets for the same industry, domain or business problem.  Use the storybook editor to build and publish your own Expert Storybook to share as a template with other Watson Analytics users.


Analytics Exchange

The Analytics Exchange offers a marketplace for Expert Storybooks and additional public data sets that can both be imported directly into Watson Analytics.

Open Analytics Exchange right from the Watson Analytics main menu.


Browse and select a storybook template that you can then import and use with your own data.


Looking for more data? Browse and load publicly available data directly into Watson Analytics from a wide range of data categories.  Use this data to augment or support your own data analysis, to explore data from an interesting domain, or as sample data to learn more about Watson Analytics.


Looking for community support and help?

Documentation and community pages are just a click away in the Help menu.


You can also check out the updated tutorial:  Getting Started Tutorial for IBM Watson Analytics

For more information about Watson Analytics, visit

And, if you haven’t tried Watson Analytics yet, you can now register for the free edition and get a free 30-day trial of Watson Analytics Professional.

See the different editions of Watson Analytics summarized in this video: