Trending Thursday: Using big data to find the perfect holiday gi - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Trending Thursday: Using big data to find the perfect holiday gift

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We are at the height of holiday shopping season but if you haven't even started yet, there is a new virtual personal assistant you can rely on. Social Media expert Alex Tursi appeared on the morning show to talk about IBM's free app, Watson Trends. 

What does IBM Watson Trends app do?

IBM Watson Trends app takes tens of millions of bits of data from 10,000 online sources - social media, blogs, forums, e-commerce site, ratings, reviews, and more - to provide an instant, dynamic ranking of popular products. It provides fresh insights every day. 

What's neat is that it also provides information on why certain products are trending. Watson Trend app gives you insight on how other consumers feel about the products, so you get quantitative and qualitative data. Watson understands natural language and uses machine-learning technology to identify sentiment. It also uses predictive analytics to forecast if a trend is a fad or will endure. 

What does the Trends app say is hot this season?

So far this season, the top products are:

1. Legos: Watson says that Star Wars, Lego City, and Friends lines will sell out.
2. Nike: Nike running shoes are the big buy for female shoppers.
3. Edutainment toys: Toys combining entertainment and education are a hit with parents.
4. Robots: This is another trend for kids and parents, especially the MeccaNoid, which teaches kids 8-12 how to build their own robot.
5. Multi-screen games: The ability to purchase games that players can take with them is hot. 

What is the future of Watson Trend app?

Watson Trend app signals how we are using big data to help consumers, but more so for brands and business owners, make smart and informed product decisions in future. This is just the beginning. In 2016, IBM plans to provide similar data to retailers and brands for a fee, while adding new product categories for consumers to use for various shopping holidays next year. So, it may just be the gift that keeps on giving for businesses. 


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