IBM is making a play to obtain large amounts of data about an unexpected topic: the weather. This morning, the tech company announced it is acquiring the digital and data assets of the Weather Company, which owns the Weather Channel and is one of the world’s largest aggregators of weather-related data. According to the New York Times, the company’s data sets–which impact everything from the aerospace sector to insurance companies and retailers–could help create new use cases for Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence platform.
One of the main areas of interest for IBM is the Weather Company’s in-house forecasting team, WSI, which makes sophisticated projections based on weather data for well-heeled corporate and governmental clients. WSI could offer a new client base for Watson-related initiatives, and help boost IBM’s reputation as a provider of analytics solutions.
In June, the Weather Company and IBM entered into a deal to build an emergency management tool for use during natural disasters. This acquisition bookends many months of the two companies working together, as they first inked a partnership in early 2015.
[via New York Times]