Category: MI Analyst


On Intelligence: Lessons for Meaning Extraction

One of the books that inspired my thinking on meaning extraction was On Intelligence by one of Silicon Valley’s most successful computer architects, Jeff Hawkins, and highly-regarded science writer Sandra Blakeslee.  Hawkins founded the Redwood Neuroscience Institute to study memory and cognition, but he is not just an academician doing brain research.  Rather, he is a substantial practitioner, being the CTO of palmOne and counting the creation of the PalmPilot among his accomplishments.   I am always attracted to those persons that not only think a lot about a problem, but who then solve the myriad of practical problems required to translate those thoughts into devices and processes out here in the concrete reality.  (A colleague recently described me as a “poster boy for pragmatism.”) Continue reading On Intelligence: Lessons for Meaning Extraction


Beyond Sentiment Scoring

There are times I think the text analytics industry has painted itself into a corner with sentiment scoring.  Not too long ago I attended an industry event in which every provider of text analytics that presented talked about how their solution could do sentiment scoring, and also a few other things.  Speaker after speaker, I thought the “few other things” mentioned in passing were way more useful than sentiment scoring.  But the speakers appeared to feel that sentiment scoring was what text analytics is about, at least from a PR and marketing perspective. Continue reading Beyond Sentiment Scoring


Innovation and Customer Insight

In April, my old employer, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and BusinessWeek released a study indentifying the most innovative global companies.   The report is based on a survey by BCG of 2,700 senior executives “representing all major markets and industries.”   Of even more interest is the research report published by BCG detaling the survey’s complete findings .  (I will provide links to both the BusinessWeek article and the BCG research report at end of the this blog post.)  The research report gives considerable more depth on questions like why a company would want to be an innovator, what degree of importance enterprises ascribe to innovation, what the actual contributions are to operating performance of innovation, and what factors facilitate innovation?  Continue reading Innovation and Customer Insight


Using Meaning Extraction To Improve Search Results

In my prior post, “Meaning Extraction for Business Strategy”, I describe a new type of search result: “scenarios of meaning.”  For example, in a search on ‘Cisco and VOIP’, we get back the scenario “Cisco is using a product marketing strategy of Professional Services” that presents a finding about how Cisco is using a particular marketing initiative in that market.   This new type of search result is unique and exciting.  But the story doesn’t really stop there.  Meaning extraction can be used to bump up the value of plain old search results as well.  Let me explain. Continue reading Using Meaning Extraction To Improve Search Results


Meaning Extraction for Business Strategy

 In my previous post, I gave an example of how meaning extraction works in a life sciences research setting.  I am pleased to report to you all that the essence of that blog post was expanded into an article that is going to run in Future Pharmaceuticals magazine soon.  I will post a link to it when it runs if that is practical.

But since most people work for companies that are not pharmaceuticals or performing life sciences research,  I thought I should provide another example in a different context.  So let’s say we want to analyze the strategy of a company like Cisco in the arena of voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) and that we have a content repository of a few hundred thousand market research reports from scores of authoritative analyst firms like Gartner, Forrester, and IDC.  (Northern Light clients actually have such a database available to them.)   Continue reading Meaning Extraction for Business Strategy



Why meaning extraction?

Every year, for enterprise clients, Northern Light provides aggregation and search for 750,000 market research reports with a value of $1 billion (if you bought each report at its list price) from 80 of the leading analyst firms.  On a late night two summers ago I was sitting alone, brooding about the future of information technology, as I often do.   The thought occurred to me that if I could read every report we aggregate each year, then I would be a lot smarter about this question, or at least much better informed.  Well, I mused, I cannot read 750,000 reports, but the computer can. Continue reading Why meaning extraction?