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Connecting SharePoint with External Data

July 28, 2015

One of the most frequently discussed SharePoint struggles is integrating SharePoint data with existing external data. IT Business Edge has compiled a short slideshow with helpful tips regarding integration, including the possible use of business connectivity services. See all the details in their presentation, “Eight Steps to Connect Office 365/SharePoint Online with External Data.”

The summary states:

“According to Mario Spies, senior strategic consultant at AvePoint, a lot of companies are in the process of moving their SharePoint content from on-premise to Office 365 / SharePoint Online, using tools such as DocAve Migrator from SharePoint 2010 or DocAve Content Manager from SharePoint 2013. In most of these projects, the question arises about how to handle SharePoint external lists connected to data using BDC. The good news is that SharePoint Online also supports Business Connectivity Services.”

To continue to learn more about the tips and tricks of SharePoint connectivity, stay tuned to ArnoldIT.com, particularly the SharePoint feed. Stephen E. Arnold is a lifelong leader in all things search, and his expertise is especially helpful for SharePoint. Users will continue to be interested in data migration and integration, and how things may be easier with the SharePoint 2016 update coming soon.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 28, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

 

Hadoop Rounds Up Open Source Goodies

July 17, 2015

Summer time is here and what better way to celebrate the warm weather and fun in the sun than with some fantastic open source tools.  Okay, so you probably will not take your computer to the beach, but if you have a vacation planned one of these tools might help you complete your work faster so you can get closer to that umbrella and cocktail.  Datamation has a great listicle focused on “Hadoop And Big Data: 60 Top Open Source Tools.”

Hadoop is one of the most adopted open source tool to provide big data solutions.  The Hadoop market is expected to be worth $1 billion by 2020 and IBM has dedicated 3,500 employees to develop Apache Spark, part of the Hadoop ecosystem.

As open source is a huge part of the Hadoop landscape, Datamation’s list provides invaluable information on tools that could mean the difference between a successful project and failed one.  Also they could save some extra cash on the IT budget.

“This area has a seen a lot of activity recently, with the launch of many new projects. Many of the most noteworthy projects are managed by the Apache Foundation and are closely related to Hadoop.”

Datamation has maintained this list for a while and they update it from time to time as the industry changes.  The list isn’t sorted on a comparison scale, one being the best, rather they tools are grouped into categories and a short description is given to explain what the tool does. The categories include: Hadoop-related tools, big data analysis platforms and tools, databases and data warehouses, business intelligence, data mining, big data search, programming languages, query engines, and in-memory technology.  There is a tool for nearly every sort of problem that could come up in a Hadoop environment, so the listicle is definitely worth a glance.

Whitney Grace, July 17, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

 

Is SharePoint A Knowledge Management Tool

July 9, 2015

One of the biggest questions information experts are asked a lot is, “is SharePoint a knowledge management tool?”  The answer, according to Lucidea, is: it depends.  The answer is vague, but a blog post on Lucidea’s Web site explains why: “But Isn’t SharePoint A KM Application?”

SharePoint’s usefulness is explained in this one quote:

“SharePoint is a very powerful and flexible platform for building all sorts of applications. Many organizations have adopted SharePoint because of its promise to displace all sorts of big and little applications. With SharePoint, IT can learn one framework and build out applications on an as-needed basis, rather than buying and then maintaining 1001 different applications, all with various system requirements, etc. But the key thing is that you need someone to build out the SharePoint platform and actually turn it into a useful application.”

The post cannot stress enough the importance of customizing SharePoint to make it function as a knowledge management tool.  If that was not enough, in order to keep SharePoint working well it needs to continuously be developed.

Lucidea does explain that SharePoint is not a good knowledge management application if you expect it to be implemented in a short time frame, focuses on a single problem, the users improve the system, and can meet immediate knowledge management needs.

The biggest thing to understand is that knowledge management is a process.  There are applications that can take control of immediate knowledge management needs, but for long term the actual terms “knowledge” and “management” need to be defined to get what actually needs to be controlled.

Whitney Grace, July 9, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

 

MIT Discover Object Recognition

June 23, 2015

MIT did not discover object recognition, but researchers did teach a deep-learning system designed to recognize and classify scenes can also be used to recognize individual objects.  Kurzweil describes the exciting development in the article, “MIT Deep-Learning System Autonomously Learns To Identify Objects.”  The MIT researchers realized that deep-learning could be used for object identification, when they were training a machine to identify scenes.  They complied a library of seven million entries categorized by scenes, when they learned that object recognition and scene-recognition had the possibility of working in tandem.

“ ‘Deep learning works very well, but it’s very hard to understand why it works — what is the internal representation that the network is building,’ says Antonio Torralba, an associate professor of computer science and engineering at MIT and a senior author on the new paper.”

When the deep-learning network was processing scenes, it was fifty percent accurate compared to a human’s eighty percent accuracy.  While the network was busy identifying scenes, at the same time it was learning how to recognize objects as well.  The researchers are still trying to work out the kinks in the deep-learning process and have decided to start over.  They are retraining their networks on the same data sets, but taking a new approach to see how scene and object recognition tie in together or if they go in different directions.

Deep-leaning networks have major ramifications, including the improvement for many industries.  However, will deep-learning be applied to basic search?  Image search still does not work well when you search by an actual image.

Whitney Grace, June 23, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Solcara Is The Best!  Ra Ra Ra!

June 15, 2015

Thomson-Reuters is a world renowned news syndication, but the company also has its own line of search software called Solcara Federated Search also known as Solcara SolSearch.”  In a cheerleading press release, Q-resolve highlights Solcara’s features and benefits: “Solcara Legal Search, Federated Search And Know How.”  Solcara allows users to search multiple information resources, including intranets, databases, Knowledge Management, and library and document management systems.  It returns accurate results according to the inputted search terms or keywords.  In other words, it acts like an RSS feed combined with Google.

Solcara also has a search product specially designed for those in the legal profession and the press release uses a smooth reading product description to sell it:

“Solcara legal Search is as easy to use as your favorite search engine. With just one search you can reference internal documents and approved legal information resources simultaneously without the need for large scale content indexing, downloading or restructuring. What’s more, you can rely on up-to-date content because all searches are carried out in real time.”

The press release also mentions some other tools, case studies, and references the semantic Web.  While Solcara does sound like a good product and comes from a reliable new aggregator like Thomson-Reuters, the description and organization of the press release makes it hard to understand all the features and who the target consumer group is.  Do they want to sell to the legal profession and only that group or do they want to demonstrate how Solcara can be adapted to all industries that digest huge information amounts?  The importance of advertising is focusing the potential buyer’s attention.  This one jumps all over the place.

Whitney Grace, June 15, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Lexalytics: GUI and Wizard

June 12, 2015

What is one way to improve a user’s software navigational experience?  One of the best ways is to add a graphical user interface (GUI).  Software Development @ IT Business Net shares a press release about “Lexalytics Unveils Industry’s First Wizard For Text Mining And Sentiment Analysis.”  Lexalytics is one of the leading companies that provides sentiment and analytics solutions and as the article’s title explains it has made an industry first by releasing a GUI and wizard for Semantria SaaS platform and Excel plug-in.  The wizard and GUI (SWIZ) are part of the Semantria Online Configurator, SWEB 1.3, which also included functionality updates and layout changes.

” ‘In order to get the most value out of text and sentiment analysis technologies, customers need to be able to tune the service to match their content and business needs,’ said Jeff Catlin, CEO, Lexalytics. ‘Just like Apple changed the game for consumers with its first Macintosh in 1984, making personal computing easy and fun through an innovative GUI, we want to improve the job of data analysts by making it just as fun, easy and intuitive with SWIZ.’”

Lexalytics is dedicated to helping its clients enjoy an easier experience when it comes to data analytics.  The company wants its clients to get the answers they by providing the tools they need to get them without having to over think the retrieval process.  While Lexalytics already provides robust and flexible solutions, the SWIZ release continues to prove it has the most tunable and configurable text mining technology.

Whitney Grace, June 12, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Search Companies: Innovative or Not?

June 11, 2015

Forbes’ article “The 50 Most Innovative Companies Of 2014: Strong Innovators Are Three Times More Likely To Rely on Big Data Analytics” points out how innovation is strongly tied to big data analytics and data mining these days.  The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) studies the methodology of innovation.  The numbers are astounding when companies that use big data are placed against those who still have not figured out how to use their data: 57% vs. 19%.

Innovation, however, is not entirely defined by big data.  Most of the companies that rely on big data as key to their innovation are software companies.  According to Forbes’ study, they found that 53% see big data as having a huge impact in the future, while BCG only found 41% who saw big data as vital to their innovation.

Big data cannot be and should not be ignored.  Forbes and BCG found that big data analytics are useful and can have huge turnouts:

“BCG also found that big-data leaders generate 12% higher revenues than those who do not experiment and attempt to gain value from big data analytics.  Companies adopting big data analytics are twice as likely as their peers (81% versus 41%) to credit big data for making them more innovative.”

Measuring innovation proves to be subjective, but one cannot die the positive effect big data analytics and data mining can have on a company.  You have to realize, though, that big data results are useless without a plan to implement and use the data.  Also take note that none of the major search vendors are considered “innovative,” when a huge part of big data involves searching for results.

Whitney Grace, June 11, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

JobSamurai Offers Alternative Job Search Method (Without the Search)

May 29, 2015

The article titled Take the Search Out of Job Hunting with JobSamurai on MakeUseOf describes the perks in using JobSamurai next time you are out of work. A lot of people rely on services like Craigslist, but anyone who has searched for a job there knows that a good portion of the listings are frauds, or just non-existent. The number of irrelevant posts are also high and weeding through them all is time-consuming and frustrating. JobSamurai claims to have the answers, with a job website that minimizes the search factor. The article explains,

“JobSamurai uses your information to find jobs around the web that match your profile, then shows them to you as banner adverts on the websites you visit most often. They do this by leaving a tracking cookie in your web browser that sends data back to JobSamurai to notify them of where to display their content. It typically takes 10-15 days for their internal search engines to find all the jobs that match a candidate.”

While this means that users will need to exercise some patience before seeing results, it is balanced out by the absence of those terrible spam emails that job search websites love to litter your inbox with. JobSamurai promises to limit itself to one email every two months- which really seems like no emails at all.

Chelsea Kerwin, May 29, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Search Functionality for the Roku 2

May 29, 2015

In with search, out with the remote-based headphone jack. Roku has had to weigh their priorities while considering user-friendly features, we learn from “Roku 2 Gets a Facelift with New Search Engine” at ITProPortal. The need for an affordable price point required the Roku 2 media-streaming player to drop some features so new ones could be added. Writer Sead Fadilpaši? reports:

“The new remote will work on IR, meaning you’ll need a clear line of sight to switch channels. The remote has also lost the headphone jack, which some will find quite saddening, as well as the motion sensor. Both remotes will now feature four dedicated buttons, which can’t be reprogrammed, giving users quick access to Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and Rdio. New features also include a search engine and show notifications, letting people know when a certain show is available. The new Roku 2 will cost as much as the Apple TV after its price drop – a very competitive £69. Aside from improved hardware specs Roku has confirmed to Pocket-lint the new box will come with improved software that should have a dramatic affect in speeding up accessing your favorite channels, shows and movies.”

All Roku devices will be getting the revised interface, which adds a couple of features and is expected to speed boot times. The write-up reminds us that the Roku has a mobile app, with a new version due out soon. So if you really miss that headphone jack, just swap their remote for your smart phone. I leave the motion-sensor hack to you.

Cynthia Murrell, May 29, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

SLI Systems Still Struggling

May 26, 2015

Early this year, we reported on the sudden personnel shift over at e-commerce search firm SLI Systems. Now, New Zealand’s National Business Review reports, “SLI Systems Says Second-Half Revenue Will Miss Expectations on Weaker American Sales.” It seems the staff shake-up led to disappointing sales, but the company is confident they will make up ground later this year, after the dust settles. They also cite a weak economy in Brazil as a limiting factor. Reporter Tina Morrison writes:

“Operating revenue will rise to $28 million in the year ending June 30, from $22 million a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. The forecast is lower than the $30.5 million expected by analysts in a Reuters poll. …

“The company is forgoing profits and dividends to fund growth in  the expanding e-commerce market, particularly in the US, and says its software as a service is the second biggest after Oracle to provide online retailers with suggestive search engines. Analysts polled by Reuters before today’s announcement had expected the company’s annual loss to widen to $7 million this year, from $5.7 million last year. It expects to report its annual earnings in late August.”

Founded in 2001, SLI Systems now powers e-commerce on over 800 websites. The company is based in Christchurch, New Zealand, and maintains offices in San Jose, California; London; Melbourne; and Tokyo. Anyone who thinks they can help the company bounce back should note that (as of this writing) SLI is looking for new Sales Directors in Melbourne and San Jose.

Cynthia Murrell, May 26, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

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