Looking Ahead for Bing Entity Engine

April 28, 2014

We know the Web search engines have been working to reduce the number of clicks between us and our desired information and/or action points. For Google, the mechanism behind this is called Knowledge Graph. For Bing, it’s the Entity Engine. Now, TechCrunch reports that “Microsoft Has Big Plans for Bing’s Entity Engine.”

Bing has always emphasized hooking users up with results that let them take action, like reserving a table or booking a flight. This increasingly means working with third-party sites. Reporter Frederic Lardinois interviewed Derrick Connell, head of the Bing Experience group. Lardinois writes:

“Connell argues that the only way to do this efficiently is to create an open ecosystem that powers these actions. ‘We think a lot about how we can create value for everybody who is participating in this new emerging space,” he said. “And how can we bring the best set of players to the table for our users?’

“Today, this means having partnerships with Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor and others, and Microsoft then highlights the actions they make possible on its search engine. In the long run, though, Connell envisions an open ecosystem where any site can make actions available using a standard markup language (he mentioned schema.org as an option in our conversation). Then, when a user looks for an entity, Bing could map this to an entity provider and shorten the path users take between searching for something and putting this knowledge into action. Ideally, this could even mean taking the action right on Bing (maybe even with a single click), but Connell acknowledged that issues around identity and login management will probably mean users will have to take most actions on a third-party site.”

Unsurprisingly, Connell argues that Microsoft may be one of the only companies capable of building such a project. For now, as more third-party sites become involved, the problem is how to decide which gets the traffic from any particular search. Lardinois makes an interesting observation: the prevalence of the Microsoft Office suite means we could see the day when Bing lets us search the Web from within Word or Excel. Near-monopoly does have its advantages.

Cynthia Murrell, April 28, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Entity Extraction with Solr

July 11, 2013

Entity extraction is a feature that many enterprise users want to build into their architecture. Solr 4 has the features that allow a work around or “poor man’s” entity extraction. Erik Hatcher, one of the founders of LucidWorks, explains how in his SearchHub blog entry, “Poor Man’s ‘Entity’ Extraction with Solr.”

The instructions begin:

“Entity extraction, as defined on Wikipedia, ‘seeks to locate and classify atomic elements in text into predefined categories such as the names of persons, organizations, locations, expressions of times, quantities, monetary values, percentages, etc.’ When drilling down into the specifics of the requirements from our customers, it turns out that many of them have straightforward solutions using built-in (Solr 4.x) components, such as: Acronyms as facets; Key words or phrases, from a fixed list, as facets; Lat/long mentions as geospatial points.”

SearchHub is one of many means through which LucidWorks bolsters its support and training to all Apache Lucene Solr developers as well as LucidWorks customers. LucidWorks users find that both the LucidWorks Big Data and LucidWorks Search solutions are ready to go out-of-the-box but allow customization and scalability in a way that Hatcher demonstrates above.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 11, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Beyond Search

Digital Reasoning Hits High Note with Opera Solutions

October 23, 2012

We just learned that Digital Reasoning’s Synthesys® system now integrates with Opera Solutions’ Signal Hub™ Technology. For those struggling with big data challenges, the center stage role of Digital Reasoning brings new agility to organizations.

Digital Reasoning™, one of the leaders in unstructured data analytics at scale, revealed a partnership with Opera Solutions. The Opera Solutions’ firm is one of the leading global big data science companies. This integration will expand Opera Solutions’ Signal Hub technology to include unstructured text analytics from Digital Reasoning’s Synthesys, providing a comprehensive Big Data solution for innovative enterprises.

Rob Metcalf, President and COO for Digital Reasoning, told ArnoldIT:

We are excited to make this important announcement at the Strata Conference in the heart of New York’s Financial District. Opera Solutions’ predictive analytics capabilities are a perfect complement with Digital Reasoning’s Synthesys, and together we look forward to unlocking valuable insights for customers in the financial industry and beyond.

According to Opera Solutions, the Digital Reasoning Synthesys technology provides advanced methods of extracting critical insights from email, research, Web content, and other unstructured data sources.

Laks Srinivasan, General Manager, Global Markets for Opera Solutions, told me:

When combined with the machine-learning science in our Signal Hub technologies, we can deliver directed actions to frontline decision makers focused on managing financial risk.

ArnoldIT’s analysis of Signal Hub technologies revealed that the system can extract critical signals from flows of big data. Opera Solutions’ technology is deployed at major organizations spanning industries such as financial services, healthcare, retail, and transportation. These organizations rely on Signal Hubs to optimize their supply chain, gain unique marketing insights, and stay ahead of financial risk with knowledge from both internal systems and external, unstructured sources.

Readers of Beyond Search know that Synthesys was developed in close conjunction with critical Big Data analytics challenges over the past decade. In 2012, Digital Reasoning gained momentum in financial services, healthcare, and legal markets, where automated understanding of unstructured data is a necessity.

Synthesys is a platform for making sense of unstructured data. Modeled after the human understanding process, Synthesys reads, resolves and reasons across hundreds of millions of documents to automatically understand and isolate critical information such as risks, opportunities and anomalies. Having solved problems for US intelligence agencies for the past decade, Synthesys is now delivering Automated Understanding for big data challenges in finance, healthcare and legal markets. Digital Reasoning is based outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with offices in Washington, D.C., and New York. For more information, visit http://www.digitalreasoning.com/.

Stephen E Arnold, October 23, 2012

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April 9, 2012

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The Summer of Big Deals

September 1, 2011

Will These Blockbusters Affect Business Intelligence?

The summer has been a hot one, not in terms of temperature, but when measured on the acquisition thermometer. First, Oracle the sprawling database and enterprise applications company bought InQuira. Then, Google took one third of its cash and the equivalent of two years’ profit and bought Motorola Mobility. And Hewlett Packard, one of the icon’s of the Silicon Valley way, spent $10 billion on its surprise purchase of Autonomy plc.

Business intelligence, intellectual property, and information management turned up the heat for investors and those tracking active market sectors. The market interest is high and many think these deals are likely to sustain their energy. But I don’t see it that way. I think the deals are more like dumping charcoal starter on charcoal briquettes: Very dramatic at ignition but certain to cool and fade into the fabric of day-to-day activity.

image

Starting a charcoal fire can produce some initial pyrotechnics. These fade quickly.

As the founder of Digital Reasoning, a company focused on delivering the next-generation solution-based on entity oriented analytics, I see these deals from the perspective of working with customers to solve big data analytics challenges. First, let me give you my view of information management and traditional business analytics and then outline where I think the technology and the market are going.

Business intelligence in general and analytics particular are now verbal noise. I know that most of the professionals with whom I speak interpret the phrase “business intelligence” in terms of their own experiences in getting information to make a decision. For some, business intelligence is a report and follow up telephone conversation with a human expert. Don’t get me wrong, consultants and advisors often do great work, but my point is that the phrase “business intelligence” is anchored in a method of information analysis rooted in human behavior unchanged since our ancestors sat around the camp fire roasting meat on sticks.,

The word analytics is equally difficult to explain. For many of our clients, analytics means SAS or SPSS (both the bread and butter of traditional statistics courses and business analysts from banking to warehouse management).

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