IBM Watson Explorer Review

Ingests, retrieves information from a range of sources; enables dissecting questions in context and answering them


What is our primary use case?

We use WEX for one of our applications called Watson for HSEQ. It's performing brilliantly. We bring together over 11 databases, process over 1.2 million documents, and effectively, from there we can do great visualizations. Also, Watson is starting to do basic analysis for us as well. It's really good.

How has it helped my organization?

Previously we'd have a set of health and safety analysts who would be the key focal points for doing work to understand health and safety risks; so a very small number of people. But, of course, health and safety is a challenge for everybody, and through WEX and through our Watson HSEQ solution, we've managed to get engagement across at least one-third of our workforce, so over 1,300 people; also, a 25% reduction in health and safety incidents.

What is most valuable?

I'm a user more than I am a developer, but for us it's the ability to ingest and then retrieve information from a range of separate sources; the ability to dissect questions in context and actually answer them. 

Then separately, the ability for us to then take the output from WEX, I believe - this is me talking to the developers here - taking the outputs from WEX and then processing that to create the visualizations and the analysis that we need.

What needs improvement?

WEX is more a platform, I believe, than it is the application. 

I could talk about what I'm looking for in the application. We've done visualizations and we can do basic analysis with the system as it stands. Where we're looking to take it is implementing it into workflows, so the workers on the line can actually understand the risks that they're exposing themselves to and then address them on the fly. So that's fantastic. 

And then the final one is, it's not prediction, but maybe anticipation. So when people are put at risk, we'll be implementing solutions shortly that will help people anticipate the risks and the dangers they're exposing themselves to so they can control them.

For how long have I used the solution?

Trial/evaluations only.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If I talk about stability, it's probably more related to our own computer systems, which are terribly unstable. I've never had a problem with WEX or the Watson for HSEQ solution. That's been fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Again, 1.2 million documents and processing that. That scale is massive, it's 30 years of information for us. It's great.

How is customer service and technical support?

I've not had to use technical support.

What other advice do I have?

I think we'll get it to a 10, but I think at the moment it's got to be a good eight or nine out of 10 at least. I think for me, safety is about a conversation. It's about engagement, and we've certainly achieved the engagement that we're looking for, but we'd love to stretch the technical solution a little further.

My advice would be, go talk to IBM about Watson for HSEQ.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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