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Cognitive analytics is the application of data analysis and machine learning that enables businesses to better understand and be able to make predictions and smarter decisions about certain aspects of their business. It includes tools from analytics, big data, natural language processing, machine learning, and business intelligence.
Cognitive analytic techniques often involve collecting very large amounts of data from many different sources and then analyzing the data. For example, a business may want to gain more insight into how its internal processes work, or how customers perceive its products and services, or which aspects of their business can best drive customer loyalty. The answers that these kinds of analysis provides can enable businesses to become more competitive.
Hamilton Ratshefola, country GM at IBM South Africa, said that “the cognitive era is about thinking itself – how we gather information, access it and make decisions. These systems provide expert assistance by developing deep domain insights and bringing this information to people in a timely, natural and usable way. Here, cognitive systems play the role of an assistant – albeit one that is tireless, can consume vast amounts of structured and unstructured information, can reconcile ambiguous and even self-contradictory data and learn.”
Deloitte describes some benefits of applying cognitive analytics: “Humans often come to different conclusions based upon the same information. Cognitive analytics can help reduce subjectivity in decision-making—and do it faster—by tracing how decisions are made and measuring the resulting outcomes, allowing leading practices to be shared across the organization.”