Research this month from MindMetre Research shows that 89 percent of organizations believe they need to gain greater insight into their growing volumes of unstructured data to improve their commercial advantages and gain a competitive edge. That insight into such data, the research reports, could feed a number of business-boosting scenarios. “This content can be used to provide insights for proposals and projects, to inform business relationships, to enable collaboration, to avoid repetition of research, to repurpose content, and generally to streamline the flow of enterprise knowledge and avoid replication of work already done,” says Paul Lindsell, Managing Director of MindMetre.
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What can semantic search do for your enterprise? One example comes from the recently launched Searchbox online semantic search engine by the company of the same name (which formerly was known as salsaDev).
One of the vendor’s biggest customers is the European Commission, according to Nicolas Gamard, CEO of the Switzerland-based company. That early adopter of Searchbox is using the technology for improving search related to its public grants funding, which amounts to tens of billions of dollars since 2007. Before deploying Searchbox, both researchers and its own commissioners struggled with conducting searches across 15 different repositories, as they looked for previously funded projects and partnership possibilities across the continent, for example. Tooling through a research grant PDF document of some 150 to 600 pages was another time-consuming issue, he says.
“It was like a full-time job just to look at all the different data sources. Things were not formatted in the same way – they used different terms and structures,” Gamard says.
Today, Searchbox powers a single web application for the European Commission, where all such content is interlinked together. “So, if a researcher is looking at a grant, we suggest all the related relevant research grants, partnership opportunities across Europe, all previously funded projects, and all the information he or she needs,” says Gamard. “That’s done automatically so that, within a single look, within 5 minutes you can have identified all the research opportunities right for you.”