IBM goes freemium with new natural language analytics service

Gigaom

IBM is known as an enterprise IT company. In fact, it’s known as the enterprise IT company. But the company made an interesting adjustment to its strategy on Tuesday, announcing a new data analysis tool, called Watson Analytics, that’s offered as a freemium cloud service and targets users from secretaries up to CEOs.

It’s a wise decision for a company that touts itself as the world’s biggest and best analytics vendor, but has also watched others own the discussion about data-driven companies and employee empowerment via data. [company]Microsoft[/company], for example, has been releasing feature after feature to make Excel easier and more powerful, and even released one, called Q&A, that’s not too dissimilar from Watson Analytics. There are also startups upon startups — including DataRPM, ThoughtSpot and UpShot Data — pushing tools for simplifying business analytics, increasingly incorporating natural language queries as a way to save users from having to…

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