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The Cricket Cognitive Analysis

September 4, 2015

While Americans scratch their heads at the sport cricket, it has a huge fanbase and not only that, there are mounds of data that can now be fully analyzed says First Post in the article, “The Intersection Of Analytics, Social Media, And Cricket In The Cognitive Era Of Computing.”

According to the article, cricket fans absorb every little bit of information about their favorite players and teams.  Technology advances have allowed the cricket players to improve their game with better equipment and ways to analyze their playing, in turn the fans have a deeper personal connection with the game as this information is released.  For the upcoming Cricket World Cup, Wisden India will provide all the data points for the game and feed them into IBM’s Analytics Engine to improve the game for spectators and the players.

Social media is a huge part of the cricket experience and the article details examples about how it platforms like Twitter are processed through sentimental analysis and IBM Text Analytics.

“What is most interesting to businesses however is that observing these campaigns help in understanding the consumer sentiment to drive sales initiatives. With right business insights in the nick of time, in line with social trends, several brands have come up with lucrative offers one can’t refuse. In earlier days, this kind of marketing required pumping in of a lot of money and waiting for several weeks before one could analyze and approve the commercial success of a business idea. With tools like IBM Analytics at hand, one can not only grab the data needed, assess it so it makes a business sense, but also anticipate the market response.”

While Cricket might be what the article concentrates on, imagine how data analytics are being applied to other popular sports such as American football, soccer, baseball, golf, and the variety of racing popular around the world.

Whitney Grace, September 4, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Suggestions for Developers to Improve Functionality for Search

September 2, 2015

The article on SiteCrafting titled Maxxcat Pro Tips lays out some guidelines for improved functionality when it comes deep search. Limiting your Crawls is the first suggestion. Since all links are not created equally, it is wise to avoid runaway crawls on links where there will always be a “Next” button. The article suggests hand-selecting the links you want to use. The second tip is Specify Your Snippets. The article explains,

“When MaxxCAT returns search results, each result comes with four pieces of information: url, title, meta, and snippet (a preview of some of the text found at the link). By default, MaxxCAT formulates a snippet by parsing the document, extracting content, and assembling a snippet out of that content. This works well for binary documents… but for webpages you wanted to trim out the content that is repeated on every page (e.g. navigation…) so search results are as accurate as possible.”

The third suggestion is to Implement Meta-Tag Filtering. Each suggestion is followed up with step-by-step instructions. These handy tips come from a partnering between Sitecrafting is a web design company founded in 1995 by Brian Forth. Maxxcat is a company acknowledged for its achievements in high performance search since 2007.

Chelsea Kerwin, September 2, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

SAS Text Miner Promises Unstructured Insight

July 10, 2015

Big data is tools help organizations analyze more than their old, legacy data.  While legacy data does help an organization study how their process have changed, the data is old and does not reflect the immediate, real time trends.  SAS offers a product that bridges old data with the new as well as unstructured and structured data.

The SAS Text Miner is built from Teragram technology.  It features document theme discovery, a function the finds relations between document collections; automatic Boolean rule generation; high performance text mining that quickly evaluates large document collection; term profiling and trending, evaluates term relevance in a collection and how they are used; multiple language support; visual interrogation of results; easily import text; flexible entity options; and a user friendly interface.

The SAS Text Miner is specifically programmed to discover data relationships data, automate activities, and determine keywords and phrases.  The software uses predictive models to analysis data and discover new insights:

“Predictive models use situational knowledge to describe future scenarios. Yet important circumstances and events described in comment fields, notes, reports, inquiries, web commentaries, etc., aren’t captured in structured fields that can be analyzed easily. Now you can add insights gleaned from text-based sources to your predictive models for more powerful predictions.”

Text mining software reveals insights between old and new data, making it one of the basic components of big data.

Whitney Grace, July 10, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

CSC Attracts Buyer And Fraud Penalties

July 1, 2015

According to the Reuters article “Exclusive: CACI, Booz Allen, Leidos Eyes CSC’s Government Unit-Sources,” CACI International, Leidos Holdings, and Booz Allen Hamilton Holdings

have expressed interest in Computer Sciences Corp’s public sector division.  There are not a lot of details about the possible transaction as it is still in the early stages, so everything is still hush-hush.

The possible acquisition came after the news that CSC will split into two divisions: one that serves US public sector clients and the other dedicated to global commercial and non-government clients.  CSC has an estimated $4.1 billion in revenues and worth $9.6 billion, but CACI International, Leidos Holdings, and Booz Allen Hamilton might reconsider the sale or getting the price lowered after hearing this news: “Computer Sciences (CSC) To Pay $190M Penalty; SEC Charges Company And Former Executives With Accounting Fraud” from Street Insider.  The Securities and Exchange Commission are charging CSC and former executives with a $190 million penalty for hiding financial information and problems resulting from the contract they had with their biggest client.  CSC and the executives, of course, are contesting the charges.

“The SEC alleges that CSC’s accounting and disclosure fraud began after the company learned it would lose money on the NHS contract because it was unable to meet certain deadlines. To avoid the large hit to its earnings that CSC was required to record, Sutcliffe allegedly added items to CSC’s accounting models that artificially increased its profits but had no basis in reality. CSC, with Laphen’s approval, then continued to avoid the financial impact of its delays by basing its models on contract amendments it was proposing to the NHS rather than the actual contract. In reality, NHS officials repeatedly rejected CSC’s requests that the NHS pay the company higher prices for less work. By basing its models on the flailing proposals, CSC artificially avoided recording significant reductions in its earnings in 2010 and 2011.”

Oh boy!  Is it a wise decision to buy a company that has a history of stealing money and hiding information?  If the company’s root products and services are decent, the buyers might get it for a cheap price and recondition the company.  Or it could lead to another disaster like HP and Autonomy.

Whitney Grace, July 1, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Search Cheerleader Seeks Text Analytics Unicorns

June 12, 2015

The article on Venture Beat whimsically titled Where Are the Text Analytics Unicorns provides yet another cheerleader for search. The article uses Aileen Lee’s “unicorn” concept of a company begun since 2003 and valued at over a billion dollars. (“Super unicorns” are companies valued at over a hundred billion dollars like Facebook.) The article asks why no text analytics companies have joined this exclusive club? Candidates include Clarabridge, NetBase and Medallia.

“In the end, the answer is a very basic one. Contrast the text analytics sector with unicorns that include Uber — Travis Kalanick’s company — and Airbnb, Evernote, Flipkart, Square, Pinterest, and their ilk. They play to mass markets — they’re a magic mix of revenue, data, platform, and pizazz — in ways that text analytics doesn’t. The tech companies on the unicorn list — Cloudera, MongoDB, Pivotal — provide or support essential infrastructure that covers a broad set of needs.”

Before coming to this conclusion, the article posits other possible reasons as well, such as the sheer number of companies competing in the field, or even competition from massive companies like IBM and Google. But these are dismissed for the more optimistic end note that essentially suggests we give the text analytics unicorns a year. Caution advised.

Chelsea Kerwin, June 12, 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

Sentiment Analysis: The Progeny of Big Data?

June 9, 2015

I read “Text Analytics: The Next Generation of Big Data.” The article provides a straightforward explanation of Big Data, embraces unstructured information like blog posts in various languages, email, and similar types of content, and then leaps to the notion of text analytics. The conclusion to the article is that we are experiencing “The Coming of Age of Text Analytics—The Next Generation of Big Data.”

The idea is good news for the vendors of text analytics aimed squarely at commercial enterprises, advertisers, and marketers. I am not sure the future will match up to the needs of the folks at the law enforcement and intelligence conference I had just left.

There are three reasons:

First, text analytics are not new, and the various systems and methods have been in use for decades. One notable example is BAE Systems use of its home brew tools and Autonomy’s technology in the 1990s and i2 (pre IBM) and its efforts even earlier.

Second, the challenges of figuring out what structured and unstructured data mean require more than determining if a statement is positive or negative. Text analytics is, based on my experience, blind to such useful data as real time geospatial inputs and video streamed from mobile devices and surveillance devices. Text analytics, like key word search, makes a contribution, but it is in a supporting role, not the Beyoncé of content processing.

Third, the future points to the use of technologies like predictive analytics. Text analytics are components in these more robust systems whose outputs are designed to provide probability-based outputs from a range of input sources.

There was considerable consternation a year or so ago. I spoke with a team involved with text analytics at a major telecommunications company. The grousing was that the outputs of the system did not make sense and it was difficult for those reviewing the outputs to figure out what the data meant.

At the LE/intel conference, the focus was on systems which provide actionable information in real time. My point is that vendors have a tendency to see the solutions in terms of what is often a limited or supporting technology.

Sentiment analysis is a good example. Blog posts invoking readers to join ISIS are to some positive and negative. The point is that the point of view of the reader determines whether a message is positive or negative.

The only way to move beyond this type of superficial and often misleading analysis is to deal with context, audio, video, intercept data, geolocation data, and other types of content. Text analytics is one component in a larger system, not the solution to the types of problems explored at the LE/intel conference in early June 2015. Marketing often clouds reality. In some businesses, no one knows that the outputs are not helpful. In other endeavors, the outputs have far higher import. Knowing that a recruiting video with a moving nasheed underscoring the good guys dispatching the bad guys is off kilter. Is it important to know that the video is happy or sad? In fact, it is silly to approach the content in this manner.

Stephen E Arnold, June 9, 2014

Free Book from OpenText on Business in the Digital Age

May 27, 2015

This is interesting. OpenText advertises their free, downloadable book in a post titled, “Transform Your Business for a Digital-First World.” Our question is whether OpenText can transform their own business; it seems their financial results have been flat and generally drifting down of late. I suppose this is a do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do situation.

The book may be worth looking into, though, especially since it passes along words of wisdom from leaders within multiple organizations. The description states:

“Digital technology is changing the rules of business with the promise of increased opportunity and innovation. The very nature of business is more fluid, social, global, accelerated, risky, and competitive. By 2020, profitable organizations will use digital channels to discover new customers, enter new markets and tap new streams of revenue. Those that don’t make the shift could fall to the wayside. In Digital: Disrupt or Die, a multi-year blueprint for success in 2020, OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea and Chairman of the Board Tom Jenkins explore the relationship between products, services and Enterprise Information Management (EIM).”

Launched in 1991, OpenText offers tools for enterprise information management, business process management, and customer experience management. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company maintains offices around the world.

Cynthia Murrell, May 27, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Lexalytics Offers Tunable Text Mining

May 13, 2015

Want to do text mining without some of the technical hassles? if so, you will want to read about Lexalytics “the industry’s most tunable and configurable text mining technology.” Navigate to “Lexalytics Unveils Industry’s First Wizard for Text Mining and Sentiment Analysis.” I learned that text mining can be fun, easy, and intuitive.” I highlighted this quote from the news story as an indication that one does not need to understand exactly what’s going on in the text mining process:

“Before, our customers had to understand the meaning of things like ‘alpha-numeric content threshold’ and ‘entities confidence threshold,'” Jeff continued. “Lexalytics provides the most knobs to turn to get the results exactly as you want them, and now our customers don’t even have to think about them.”

Text mining, the old-fashioned way, required understanding of what was required, what procedures were appropriate, and ability to edit or write scripts. There are other skills that used to be required as the entry fee to text mining. The modern world of interfaces allows anyone to text mine. Do users understand the outputs? Sure. Perfectly.

As I read the story, I recalled a statement in “A Review of Three Natural Language Processors, AlchemyAPI, OpenCalais, and Semantria.” Here is the quote I noted in that July 2014 write up by Marc Clifton:

I find the concept of Natural Language Processing intriguing and that it holds many possibilities for helping to filter and analyze the vast and growing amount of information out there on the web.  However, I’m not quite sure exactly how one uses the output of an NLP service in a productive way that goes beyond simple keyword matching.  Some people will of course be interested in whether the sentiment is positive or negative, and I think the idea of extracting concepts (AlchemyAPI) and topics (Semantria) are useful in extracting higher level abstractions regarding a document.  NLP is therefore an interesting field of study and I believe that the people who provide NLP services would benefit from the feedback of users to increase the value of their service.

Perhaps the feedback was, “Make this stuff easy to do.” Now the challenge is to impart understanding to what a text mining system outputs. That might be a bit more difficult.

Stephen E Arnold, May 13, 2015

Hoping to End Enterprise Search Inaccuracies

May 1, 2015

Enterprise search is limited to how well users tag their content and the preloaded taxonomies.  According Tech Target’s Search Content Management blog, text analytics might be the key to turning around poor enterprise search performance: “How Analytics Engines Could Finally-Relieve Enterprise Pain.”  Text analytics turns out to only be part of the solution.  Someone had the brilliant idea to use text analytics to classification issues in enterprise search, making search reactive to user input to proactive to search queries.

In general, analytics search engines work like this:

“The first is that analytics engines don’t create two buckets of content, where the goal is to identify documents that are deemed responsive. Instead, analytics engines identify documents that fall into each category and apply the respective metadata tags to the documents.  Second, people don’t use these engines to search for content. The engines apply metadata to documents to allow search engines to find the correct information when people search for it. Text analytics provides the correct metadata to finally make search work within the enterprise.”

Supposedly, they are fixing the tagging issue by removing the biggest cause for error: humans. Microsoft caught onto how much this could generate profit, so they purchased Equivio in 2014 and integrated the FAST Search platform into SharePoint.  Since Microsoft is doing it, every other tech company will copy and paste their actions in time.  Enterprise search is gull of faults, but it has improved greatly.  Big data trends have improved search quality, but tagging continues to be an issue.  Text analytics search engines will probably be the newest big data field for development. Hint for developers: work on an analytics search product, launch it, and then it might be bought out.

Whitney Grace, May 1 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

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