Endeca Technologies, Inc., an agile information management software company, announced native integration of Endeca Latitude with Apache Hadoop. Endeca Latitude, based on the Endeca MDEX hybrid search-analytical database, is uniquely suited to unlock the power of Apache Hadoop. Apache Hadoop is strong at manipulating semi-structured data, which is a challenge for traditional relational databases. This combination provides flexibility and agility in combining diverse and changing data, and performance in analyzing that data. Enabling Agile BI requires a complete data-driven solution that unites integration, exploration and analysis from source data through end-user access that can adapt to changing data, changing data sources, and changing user needs. Solutions that require extensive pre-knowledge of data models and end-user needs fail to meet the agility requirement. The united Endeca Latitude and Apache Hadoop solution minimizes data modeling, cleansing, and conforming of data prior to unlocking the value of Big Data for end-users. http://www.endeca.com/ http://hadoop.apache.org/
IBM announced the acquisition of Datacap Inc., a privately-held company based in Tarrytown, NY. Datacap is a provider of software that enables organizations to transform the way they capture, manage and automate the flow of business information to improve business processes, reduce paper costs or manual errors and meet compliance mandates. Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition strengthens IBM’s ability to help organizations digitize, manage and automate their information assets, particularly in paper-intensive industries such as healthcare, insurance, government and finance. Additionally, regulations such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley have demanded new standards and now legislation is encouraging the adoption of new records management solutions, including scanning and capture to increase accuracy, lower costs and speed business processes to meet these regulations. http://ibm.com http://www.datacap.com/
Hustling through my preparation list before the Gilbane San Francisco conference I have come to the fifth session on enterprise search that I’ll be moderating, Mining, Analyzing and Delivering Intelligent Content, featuring Amin Negandi, Principal, Echelon Consulting LLC, speaking on Enterprise Search at A.T. Kearney, and Rob Joachim, Information Systems Engineering Lead, MITRE Corporation presenting a case study on the development of An Expertise Finder Application Built on Enterprise Search. In listening to both of them talk about their projects, these are “must-attend” presentations for those seeking to build search-based solutions for their organizations. Both are examples of the practical and real challenges that surround value building projects. Both have positive outcomes but are hardly implementations that will become static legacy deployments; sustaining a value-based system is an ongoing activity.
As the session abstract states, there are as many technologies for finding content as there are types of content and types of enterprises. Locating a pile of links or citations is rarely the end game for those who really seek to leverage content. Both presenters in this session will talk about solutions that serve real and critical needs for one enterprise, in the first case being able to securely search content across a professional services firm in which collaboration is important within defined proprietary boundaries.
The second case also touches on the need for collaboration and sharing, in this case by enabling location of individuals who are experts. Using the context of content and associations to which they are linked for “defining” individual expertise, search filters relevant metadata to reveal those individuals. Connections are made to locate people and their professional work.
Delivering search results intelligently requires not only technology but also the art of the implementation team. Keeping the focus on specific business outcomes is the essence of ensuring that search delivers intelligent content. The stories of what problem was targeted, what tools were deployed, and how search was implemented by savvy search specialists are the most interesting and useful for learning. Finding out that serendipity also plays a role is getting closer to the best solution is always fun to discover in the process. We’ll be listening on June 19th.
Sometimes it pays to be behind in reading industry news. The big news last week was Google’s new patents and plans to enhance search results using metadata and taxonomy embedded in content. This was followed by the news that Business Objects plans to acquire Inxight, a Xerox PARC spin-off that has produced a product line with terrific data visualization tools, highly valued in the business analytics (BI) marketplace.
I had planned to write about the convergence of the enterprise search and BI markets this week until I caught up with industry news from April and early May. This triggered a couple of insights into these more recent announcements.
In April an Information Week article noted that Google has, uncharacteristically, contributed two significant enhancements to MySQL: improved replication procedures across multiple systems and expanded mirroring. Writer Babcock also noted that “Google doesn’t use MySQL in search” but YouTube does. I believe Google will come to be more tied to MySQL as they begin to deploy new search algorithms that take advantage of metadata and taxonomies. These need good text database structures to be managed efficiently and leveraged effectively to produce quality results from search on the scale that Google does it. Up to now Google results presentation has been influenced more by transaction processing than semantic and textual context. Look for more Google enhancements to MySQL to help it effectively manage all that meaningful text. The open source question is will more enhancements be released by Google for all to use? A lot of enterprises would benefit from being able to depend on continual enhancements to MySQL so they could (continue to) use it instead of Oracle or MS-SQL server as the database back-end for text searching.
The other older news (Information Week, May 7th) was that Business Objects was touting “business intelligence for ‘all individuals’” with some new offerings. BO’s acquisition announcement just last week, that they plan to acquire Inxight, only strengthens their position in this market. Inxight has been on the cusp of BI and enterprise search for several years and this portends more convergence of products in these growing markets. Twenty-five years ago when I was selling text software applications, a key differentiator was strong report building tool sets to support “slicing and dicing” database content in any desired format. It sounds like robust, intuitive reporting tools for all enterprise users of content applications is still a dream but much closer to reality for the high-end market.
With all the offerings and consolidation in BI and search, the next moves will surely begin to push some offerings with search/BI to a price point that small-medium businesses (SMBs) can afford. We know that Microsoft sees the opening (Information Week, May 14th) and let’s hope that others do as well.
Business Objects (Nasdaq:BOBJ), EDGAR Online, Inc. (Nasdaq:EDGR), and Ipedo announced an XBRL-enhanced business intelligence (XBRL-BI) solution to enable organizations to efficiently access financial information to drive more accurate financial analysis and business decisions. The XBRL-BI solution leverages the capabilities of BusinessObjects XI, EDGAR Online’s I-Metrix suite of XBRL-based products, and Ipedo XIP, an enterprise information integration platform. Utilizing financial filings from EDGAR Online’s I-Metrix Web Service and Ipedo’s XIP integration platform, BusinessObjects XI allows research analysts, institutional investors, fund managers, regulators, and corporate officers to gain insight into market conditions directly from corporate filings, as they happen. The integrated XBRL-BI solution, based on eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), combines financial domain knowledge with data integration practices to deliver a pre-built data repository ready for financial analysis. EDGAR Online’s proprietary systems convert existing SEC data into XBRL, and then make it available via its I-Metrix suite of products. Ipedo then pulls the XBRL-tagged financial data from the EDGAR Online I-Metrix service, processes the financial data and business context, and delivers it to an XBRL-enhanced BusinessObjects universe, for use with the BusinessObjects XI business intelligence platform using Crystal Reports or BusinessObjects Web Intelligence. http://www.xbrl.org, http://www.businessobjects.com, , http://www.ipedo.com