Starting Monday, IBM pitted its supercomputer, Watson, in a three-episode Jeopardy contest against the trivia television show’s two greatest champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. With the company touting powerful analytics capabilities at play and the promising long-range implications from Watson’s showing, the world of data management is getting a unique mix of public attention and the entertainment spotlight. Here, Information Management will follow up on our preview of the match and the computer's data churning capabilities with daily reviews of important data aspects and outside commentary.

Before any questions (or answers) popped up on the show’s famous blue screens, Alex Trebek and cast took a longer look at what Big Blue had been doing to develop Watson during the past four years. The racks of servers and massive cooling station that actually make up Watson – an avatar with an IBM logo took the computer’s place between Jennings and Rutter on stage – received plenty of air-time. Maybe the lack of a domineering robot cut down on the entertainment factor, but it gave IBM a platform to explain exactly what and why it’s going through with this competition.

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