IBM has announced the general availability of the IBM Watson Tradeoff Analytics API. Originally released in open beta in February, Tradeoff Analytics constitutes a Watson cognitive service available through Bluemix via the Watson Developer Cloud platform. Tradeoff Analytics aims to apply decision science to complex decision-making scenarios.
IBM offered a series of questions that Tradeoff Analytics could help answer in a blog post announcement: "What makes consumers satisfied with their selections? What minimizes regrets and returns? In an investment scenario, what contributes to sustainability, to market volatility? What increases the patient's chances of sticking to a treatment, despite uncomfortable side-effects and pain?"
Based on the list of questions above, IBM expects the application of Tradeoff Analytics to reach far and wide. From retail and finance to healthcare, Tradeoff Analytics allows users to compare and consider many options against varied criteria at the same time. The value behind Tradeoff Analytics rests on the theory that an extensive examination of all available options leads to the most qualified judgment.
Early users seem to affirm IBM's value proposition. "With Tradeoff Analytics, we focus on creating net new value adds to our software versus spending time on re-creating the wheel," John Shelton, CEO of SDWA Ventures, commented.
The beta trial led IBM to tweak and offer more functionality through the service. Categorical and date/time values, new language support (German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese and Chinese Taiwan) and more client library customization represent some of the features added since the beta trial.
To sign up for free access, register for a Bluemix account and receive a 30-day trial license. After the trial period, users can make 1,000 free API calls per month. After that, IBM charges 3 cents per API call.
Tradeoff Analytics represents more than a blind decision-making tool. It provides reasoning and insights behind its analysis, which gives users the ability to make judgments based on assessments, alternatives and the consequences of certain choices.