The Heat in The Trend Point: June 24 to June 28

We come across so many articles in the media that point to next generation search solutions and innovative business intelligence systems, but there are many companies still using the technology of bygone days. This idea occupied  The Trend Point over the past week.

Despite recent innovations with semantic search capabilities and interface design that tends towards an intuitive user experience, legacy systems still remain in the enterprise. “Enterprise User Experience Matters” summarizes the state of the matter:

The computational legacy of the 1960s is still with us today, despite a surplus of aluminum and gorilla glass. And despite the aspirations being fulfilled on the consumer level, a comprehensive simplicity is lacking at the core of most enterprise software. Obscurity and inconsistency reign (think of BlackBerry’s descent of late) where transparency and interoperability ought to go hand in hand. The egregious result is that the everyday tools, the interfaces that we must interact with daily in our jobs—from banker to lawyer, from journalist to physician—are almost incapable of leveraging the considerable network of information that many of us need to wade through at work.

When the problem has been recognized as an information management issue stemming from the software “solution,” many companies know they must take action. However, there is no one correct path to take. We saw the following summary in “Data Management Tips” offer advice:

Keep in mind that overhauling an existing system or syncing all of the databases in an organization can be an enormous, costly, and difficult project that can take months or years to implement – this may make it impractical, particularly if other projects will deliver a bigger business benefit. However, you can take other steps to improve data management for your team, and for your organization.

What should be done with existing data when replacing a legacy storage system? “Combining Big Data with Existing Data” calls for the integration of data previously collected and stored with the huge chunks of unstructured data represented by varying file types. The following information was relayed in this post:

Big data opens an entirely new data universe to consider and use to improve decision making. But how does a business/systems analyst turn it into actual usable data so that it can be used for operational improvements that result in real business value? Success depends on how fast and seamlessly you can combine your big data with your enterprise data and present that collective information to your decision makers.

While we definitely recommend storing and parsing old data in addition to new data, merging legacy enterprise data warehousing systems with new solutions is not always a cut and dry answer. When there are many search solutions that provide efficient information access in real-time, who needs to hold on to any remaining parts of a legacy search system? Companies like Siemens, for example, are choosing to replace their out-dated search technology with Unified Information Access.

Jane Smith, July 03, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Beyond Search

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The Heat in The Trend Point: April 15 to April 19

In The Trend Point, we have seen visualization and end user output presentation become a topic of prevalence recently.

Some sources report that visualization tools are still in the early phases of evolution. According to the article referenced in “From Raw Data to Informed Visualization“:

I would say that it is all very contingent. As we know, there are good visuals and there are bad visuals, and we’ve all seen a lot of bad visuals in PowerPoint, for example. Edward Tufte has made a pretty good living demonstrating there are really bad approaches to visuals that often occur in PowerPoints. I think we are probably a lot farther along in the world of narrative — we’ve been doing that for thousands of years — than we are in visual displays of information. I think we are really just finding our way now.

One article, “Data and Graphics Matched Through Search and Visualization,” suggested that not all data needs to be visualized, Jim Stikeleather of the Havard Business Review shares that in the end, the concept of translating the minutia of data points into something that is both interpretable and relevant is most important:

Ultimately, data visualization is about communicating an idea that will drive action. Understanding the criteria for information to provide valuable insights and the reasoning behind constructing data visualizations will help you do that with efficiency and impact.

Another article posits that visualization is the natural best method to present data. The source pointed to in “Visualization Must Be Included in Search and Analytics” tells us:

 One of the best ways to get your message across is to use a visualization to quickly draw attention to the key messages, and by presenting data visually it’s also possible to uncover surprising patterns and observations that wouldn’t be apparent from looking at stats alone … By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful.

Is data visualization not the same as simply developing and idea and sharing it in an accessible way? A new name for the basics of creating and presenting information is fine. However, as far as Sinequa‘s technology goes, it provides a much easier and more intuitive user experience for delivering real time and agile information and insights to users. It does not deliver the one picture that will hit you between the eyes and make you act near-automatically (why would we need a human to provide that reaction?). The interaction paradigm is that of “ping-pong between human and search engine. There is no need to involve complex business intelligence codes. Innovative enterprise search is the core that facilitates this kind of representation through a graphical interface.

Jane Smith, April 24, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext.

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