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Archive Results


Who Gets Angriest About Airline Delays? The Answer Might Surprise You.

When looking at the recent blog on network diagram visualizations in the Watson Analytics community.   I was interested to see how a network diagram can show relationships even in dense datasets. Looking at the dataset in more detail, I was curious as to which origin cities had more delayed or cancelled flights and it got me thinking about people’s reactions to the flight delays. To find out, I compared delayed flights from November 2015 through January 2016 and sentiment on flight delays for the same time period found within Social Media. For the analysis, I chose larger cities. Using the Refine feature, I selected flights that were at least 30 minutes delayed or longer for the departure time and selected the major cities. The major city that had the most occurrences of flight delays was found to be Chicago, which may not be a surprise since it is a major hub and weather in this timeframe is not ideal. As you can see, many hubs saw flight delays, including Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles. If there was a delay over 30 minutes, the average delay time was 84 minutes for Chicago, but it was not the highest. The lowest average delays times were in Baltimore, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Now let’s compare this to volume of social conversations about flight delays for the cities. I created a social media project, which captures conversations about flight delays (in English) as shown in the following diagram. I also created Themes for major cities to get a sense of what cities people are referencing when talking about delayed flights. After running the analysis on social media, I am able to see that Los Angeles, New York and Chicago have the largest conversation volume for the same time period. Let's focus on sentiment using a network diagram. The network diagram works well for showing how negative conversations are, which is expected as we are evaluating flight delay conversations. More importantly, you can select any of the nodes in the diagram to highlight the relationship as we see below. By clicking Los Angeles, I see Los Angeles is predominantly negative; this is surprising considering the occurrences happen more for Chicago. I can also look at the cities by the number of mentions and filter that based on negative sentiment as shown in the next visualization, which shows that Los Angeles is much more negative than the other major cities. Next I want to see all of the visualizations in a single view. By pinning each of these visualizations to the collection, Watson Analytics makes easy for me to create dashboard with key elements from both datasets. From this dashboard, it is easy to decide that the Los Angeles audience is much less tolerant about flight delays. If you were working in the airline industry, you may want to pay particular attention to the Los Angeles market when dealing with delayed flights. While I have combined social data with non-social data in the past, I have not done it with this much ease. I strongly recommend that you use analytics with social data together with your transactional data. The observations that you can derive with social and non-social data can be very interesting. You will be able to vet the data and insights better than with a single data set.   Try it out yourself!


Applying filters in a Watson Analytics dashboard

There’s a few different ways to apply filters to your visualizations in a dashboard. Here’s an overview of the different types of filters and how they work. You can filter visualizations in your dashboard in three main ways: Filter all visualizations in your dashboard Filter one visualization based on a column in the visualization (Keep/Exclude) Filter one visualization based on a column not in the visualization (Local Filter) What’s Filtered Right Now? To get started, here’s a quick way to check filter status. TIP: Click the Filter Status icon in a visualization to see the current filtering that is applied. Applying a global filter across all visualizations in the dashboard Use the data tray to configure a filter that applies to all visualizations in the view. This type of filter applies across all the tabs in the view for any visualization that uses that same data set. Click on a column title in the data tray and then click the filter icon. Select your filter criteria and then click away from the filter menu to close it. Here’s an example of a global filter for the Region column set to only “Mid-Atlantic” and “Northeast”. TIP: The blue line above a column in the data tray means that column has a global filter. Filter a single visualization using the Keep/Exclude option Use the Keep/Exclude filter to display or hide specific data points in a visualization. A data point can be an element or data point displayed in the visualization. For example, a bar in a bar chart, a bubble in a bubble chart, an item in a legend or an item on an axis. Right-click one or more data points in a visualization and then choose Keep or Exclude. The filter is applied to that visualization only. The other visualizations in the view do not update. After setting a filter, you can click the Filter Status icon in the visualization to see the current filter status. Tip: This type of filter can also be configured in the column panel when you edit a visualization. Filter a single visualization for a column not displayed Use the Local filter option to slice your data on a column that’s not displayed in a visualization. This type of filter is available only for visualizations you create in Assemble and does not update any other visualizations in your view. 1.Change the view into Edit mode and then click the Expand icon for the visualization. 2.Drag the column you want to filter on from the data tray to the Local filters option. 3.Select or type the criteria for the filter, and then click away from the filter pane. 4.Click the Collapse icon to return to the view. To verify the filter, click the filter icon on the border of the visualization. For more information and details see the following resources: Documentation: IBM Watson Analytics Docs > Assemble > Filtering Video: How to filter all visualizations in a dashboard or story  

Getting Started

Watson Analytics Community, Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome. In this community you'll find questions, answers and other people who are learning and using Watson Analytics.  Your participation is important to the growth of the community and we value your contributions by asking, answering and accepting questions and sharing content in social media.  Note that you must login to ask and answer questions in the discussion forum. What kinds of questions can I ask here? This forum is for people who have questions about IBM Watson Analytics. How do I know if a question has already been asked? Before you ask a question, search for similar questions that have already been asked. Use the search function, or browse topic categories. You can also search the expert blogs and community resources. How can I help others find my question? Follow these guidelines to help others find and understand your post, whether they are searching in the community or an external search engine like Google. Title Make the title specific, so it has meaning on its own Keep it short: the title is often truncated in search results if it contains more than 70 characters Body Expand on the title by providing more details (including significant keywords that others are likely to search on) Don't just duplicate the title Describe the circumstances under which the question or problem occurs:Which edition of Watson Analytics are you using? What are you trying to accomplish or what do you expect the product to do? What have you tried? What happens? If something didn't work, include details like the error message. You can attach documents and link to other resources. Tags Keep tags simple, short, relevant, and easy to understand. Why are email notifications so important? Email notifications tell you about important events, including: When your questions have been answered When one of your posts is commented on by another member When other members post new questions, answers, or comments in your areas of interest Where do I set email notifications? All settings are in the My Preferences section of your community profile. Note: you need to be logged into the Watson Analytics Community to set your notifications. Who moderates the community forum? The Watson Analytics support team and community team moderate the forum. Users can earn some moderation privileges after earning reputation points. How does the reputation system work? Your "reputation" is a measure of the community's trust in you, based on the perceived value of your participation. As your answers or questions are voted up by others, your reputation increases. For example, if you ask an interesting question or give a helpful answer, your input will be voted up by others. On the other hand if the answer is misleading or irrelevant, it will be down voted. Each vote up you receive will generate 15 points, each vote down will subtract 2 points. With enough reputation points, you can earn badges. Explanation of reputation points: Add comments: 0 Create a new topic: 0 Vote up a question or answer: 0 Vote down a question or answer: 15 Close own question: 60 Add an icon for a topic: 100 Edit topic name or description: 100 Edit a question's topics: 100 Edit any comment, question, or answer: 400 Close any question: 600 Note that simply answering a question does not increase your reputation score. Reputation is only earned through perceived value of your answers (voted up or accepted) or your quality questions (voted up). Currently if your answer or question is voted up, you earn 15 points. If your answer is accepted, you earn 20 points. You can also lose 5 points each time your content is downvoted. You spend 2 reputation points for downvoting. The only other way to earn reputation points is by "accepting" an answer on questions that you ask. This highly encouraged task earns you 2 points. How do I earn badges? Your participation is rewarded with a variety of badges. See the list of badges you can earn. Can other people can edit my questions/answers? Experienced members of this community have the ability to curate the questions and answers. This improves the overall quality of the knowledge base content. Why was my question closed? We don't like closing questions, but sometimes it's the right thing to do. We value the time and effort that community members contribute to our forum and we don't want to waste it by duplicating their effort or distracting them. Reasons why your question may be closed include: Duplicate question: Someone already asked this exact question. We'll link to that one and close yours. Please be polite and do a quick search for existing answers before asking your question. Inappropriate or irrelevant: If you ask something irrelevant, off-topic, subjective or argumentative, or a question that has no answer, we may close it and might choose to delete it. Issue is not reproducible: If people have tried to help but cannot recreate, even after asking you for more details, we may close the question so that more people don't spend time unsuccessfully trying to recreate it. If you feel you have an issue that needs investigation, and you are entitled to IBM support, the option to open a support ticket will appear based on your profile. If you think we shouldn't have closed your question, feel free to send email to with a link to your question along with why you think it doesn't fall under the guidelines above. Does IBM have any other policies that apply? IBM has a number of standard policies that apply to this community: IBM Terms of Use IBM Privacy IBM Social Computing Guidelines IBM Copyright and trademark information IBM Patent information IBM Digital Millennium Copyright Act Notices

Getting Started

Lightning-fast videos that help you learn Watson Analytics for Social Media

I’m Allison Smith, an offering manager for Watson Analytics for Social Media, and I want to introduce you to a new series of resources that we’ve been working on to make using Watson Analytics for Social Media even easier: how-to videos. As we develop the features in Watson Analytics for Social Media for the remainder of the free trial period and beyond, we’ll continue to create videos to share the best tips and tricks so that you can get all the answers you need from social data. To begin this series, I recommend you check out two videos. First, our lightning-fast, end-to-end highlights tour of Watson Analytics for Social Media. Spend just one minute watching this video and you’ll walk away understanding the flow of Watson Analytics for Social Media, how Topics and Themes work, and what to expect from the visualizations after your dataset is created. If you’ve never used Watson Analytics for Social Media before, or if you have been using it for weeks, I’m sure you’ll find something in this video that’ll help you get useful results from social analysis, fast. Second, a series of videos that help you make the most of my favorite feature in Watson Analytics for Social Media: Topic Suggestions. We believe that social data matters, and data that matters needs to be trustworthy – so we’re not going to make you wait to see what kinds of results your topics will pull back from social media channels. Topic Suggestions are created using real social data, a sampling of what kinds of posts your topic would pull. This feature is hugely helpful for filtering out spam, and including relevant terms that you didn’t think to add. We made a series of videos that will help you maximize the value of topic suggestions. Check them out if your topic suggestions are sparse, and to get an idea of how useful this feature is. The videos series is available here. They’re all short, so if you get stuck using Watson Analytics for Social Media you can find the one or two that will get you unstuck fast, so you can spend more time discovering valuable insights, and less time wrestling with data. Sign up to try Watson Analytics and Watson Analytics for Social Media here.  


Analytics Exchange and Watson Analytics

Recently announced at IBM Interconnect is the Analytics Exchange beta available in Bluemix. The Analytics Exchange gives you access to free and open data in categories such as economy and business, leisure, transportation, and others. The way to access the Analytics Exchange is by registering for BlueMix here with your IBM ID. Once you’re signed in with your IBM ID, click Dashboards. Then click Work with Data under “Data & Analytics.” Click Exchange in the left hand column. This will bring you to the Analytics Exchange. To access a data set, simply click one of the topics that interest you. I’ve clicked Environment, which returns 31 results. I’m going to select the data set Country Statistics: Refined Petroleum Products – Consumption. This brings up a brief description of the data, a preview, column details, and more information about where the data set came from. To explore the data set in Watson Analytics, click Explore Data in the top right. You’ll be asked to accept terms and conditions and then if you want to open the data in Watson Analytics. The data is now in your Watson Analytics instance. From there it can be analyzed like any other data set in Watson Analytics. We hope you enjoy access to these exciting data sets that can help you get up and running on Watson Analytics so you can find solutions to your business problems.


Analyst Report: IBM Builds Innovation into Watson Analytics

The Ventana Research report, IBM Builds Innovation into Watson Analytics is no longer available for download.

Use Cases

#GoGreenGo: Using Watson Analytics for Social Media on St. Patrick's Day

If you are Irish or just support the St. Patrick’s Day rally cry, find out what is top of mind with your compatriots. I happen to know university campuses are all a buzz with the green spirit because I drove by some this morning and saw a good amount of green hats milling about. But what are the topics that are capturing the interest of the leprechauns of this day? I did a quick peek at Watson Analytics topic suggestions to find out what people are chattering about. Below you will see some interesting Topic Suggestions from Watson Analytics for Social Media for St. Patrick’s Day. After a quick analysis, the demographics show a close, almost a 1:1 ratio, for males and females but there were slightly more females talking about St. Patrick’s Day. That is interesting. I was not expecting this demographic. Here is a breakdown of the things people were talking about. I am a little surprised that “luck” is in the top three conversation themes. I was expecting beer, wear green or parade to be up on this list. I guess you don’t know what you don’t know until you do the analysis. I am going to stop here and put on my green cap, shamrock and paint the town green.  I encourage you to discover your own “Pot ‘o Gold” with Watson Analytics! Let me know what you find with your comments on the community forum!  It’s fun, easy and insightful  If you are not already using Watson Analytics, sign up for free here!


Visualizing network data to illustrate airline delays

Watson Analytics has recently been expanded with a new set of visualizations that can help you find more informative answers to your data questions quickly. In this blog post, I highlight these capabilities in the Freemium version of Watson Analytics which (among others) help users better visualize network data. Network data is a very common, but an underused data type. Network data conceptually consists of a collection of items and a collection of connections between a pair of items. Items, in this case, could be people on a social network site and a connection could exist if person A has friended person B. Or, items could be warehouse locations and a connection means there is a direct supply route between both locations. Many real world problems can be modeled as networks, and should be presented back to the user as visual network as well. However, typical business intelligence tools don’t typically support querying or visualizing network data. To illustrate how Watson Analytics can help, I’ll use a dataset obtained from the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics that describes airline departure and arrival delays for all US domestic flights, which can be downloaded for free here.  This dataset has, for each US departing flight, the flight carrier, flight origin and destination, as well as amount and reason of delay. In this case we’ll use part of the data for December 2014, which consists of a little more than 500 thousand rows. Since the dataset contains departure and arrival locations in separate columns, I should be able to extract a visual route map of each airline by treating a single flight as a connection between an origin and a destination city. Loading up the data in Watson Analytics and starting a new data exploration quickly gets me to the following screen. Rather than having to shape the data into a network or loading the data up in an external network visualization tool, I can ask Watson Analytics for the connections between each origin and destination city in the data. Clicking the most relevant suggestion shows me all connections between all domestic US airlines origins and destinations. In passing, Watson Analytics has also detected that destination state forms a hierarchy with destination city and has auto included state names for each city to help disambiguate them. Each city (called a node) is indicated with a blue dot, and a line (also called an edge) is drawn between two cities if the dataset contained a flight connecting both of them. The size of each dot is proportional to the number of in and outbound connections, so hubs tend to have a larger size. The visual weight of each edge is proportional to the number of rows, but we could easily change this to the total incurred minutes of delay by changing the line weight mapping. Althouh this network diagram is not very readable because there is a very dense cluster of major cities in the center, I can already see Alaskan cities on the periphery of the large central blob. This means that airports like Wrangell, AK, are at least 4 stops away from any other airport in the US. However, a good way to break apart a complex diagram like this is to filter the data down by carrier. In the graphic below I’ve extracted route information for three airlines by simply using the filter capabilities at the bottom of the user interface. You can clearly see the differences in carriers size of network, hubs and geographic region. In this case I’ve used a network visualization to show connections between cities where the data contained both origin city and destination city fields. In the same way, you could use Watson Analytics to show a diagram of connections between friends in a social network, or if that interests you, connections between genes in a genetic network. A different but also useful case for network visualization is where you have two different sets of items, and you want to show how one type of item such as a customer relates to another type of item such as a product. These types of networks are technically called bipartite networks because their set of nodes falls into two sets and you only see connections between items in different sets, not among items in the same set. In this case, I can choose to map carriers and destination cities, to highlight geographic differences between carriers. I can easily modify my visualization by dragging the “Destination City” attribute to the ‘From’ slot in the visualization and dragging “Carrier” to the ‘To’ slot. One group of nodes (green) represents the carriers, the other (blue) represents cities. This visualization clearly shows geographical differences between airlines. State based airlines like Alaska or Hawaiian are obviously catering to these remote states. SkyWest caters to most small airports in the northwestern states, while American Eagle and ExpressJet operate in smaller airports in the south east. Bipartite graphs are useful if you want to see how different data items associate with other types of data items. These could be age groups and products, tweets and locations or stores and products. Computing layouts for network diagrams is very computationally expensive, but if there are at most a few thousand items, the network diagram can be applicable to almost all datasets. We also deployed two other visualizations that help users quickly determine the most salient items in a set. The wordcloud is a well known visualization type that uses a compact arrangement of words to show the most salient terms in a larger set. Individual words can be colored by a different attribute if needed. In this case we can use the wordcloud to show the carriers with the highest average arrival delay: The packed bubble is a highly scalable visualization that compactly represents data items as circles, where the radius of the circle represents a value of interest. Here we show the largest arrival delays for all 300 departure cities. The below visualization shows the average departure delay in Macon, GA, for December 2014 was 67 (!) minutes. I hope I have shown you how to get more out of your data using these new visualization types. They’re freely available to try for everyone, so please let us know what you think of them. Frank Van Ham Master Inventor. Information Visualization and Visual Interaction Expert. IBM Watson Analytics Architect


Wed, 16 Mar at 5:00 PM, IBM Watson Analytics - Tech Innovation Workshop

Startup Sarnia-Lambton with the Cube presents - IBM Watson Analytics This workshop presented by Lambton College professor Mark Russell, will focus on the IBM Watson Analytics tool. Where: Sarnia, ON, Canada Registration is free! Learn more, register and attend.


Watson Analytics Fans: There's a New Blog in Town!

If you're a fan of the lighter side of using Watson Analytics, such as using it to pick fantasy soccer teams or learn more about craft beer preferences, the IBM Watson Analytics team has created a new blog just for that kind of information. It will also be the place where you can learn about Watson Analytics events or even where Watson Analytics might be appearing in your area. This new Watson Analytics Blog will help you get quick answers to the following questions: What’s happening? Visit the blog to find out when the latest Watson Analytics webinars, presentations, events, expert demonstrations, and live sessions are being held. What’s new? Visit the blog to learn about new additions to Watson Analytics and other product announcements. How do I…? If you're looking for videos and other resources that show the lighter side of using Watson Analytics, you can find them on the blog. What can I do? The new blog has all kinds of articles that show you how Watson Analytics enables people like you to find new insights and hidden patterns in your data--from sales win-loss data to regional firework sales. Come check it all out here. And, don't forget to keep coming back here to the Community to get in-depth information on how to use Watson Analytics and all of its great features and add-ons. Are you ready for easy analytics? How can you start finding new insights and hidden patterns in your data? Sign up for Watson Analytics for free here.