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Ring In A New Year For the Semantic Web

By   /  December 29, 2011  /  No Comments


Courtesy: Flickr/ Vince Viloria


Out with the old, in with the new. We’ve covered (here and here) the year past for the semantic web. So now let’s see what might be in store for the year ahead.

Also, don’t forget to listen to our podcast here for more insights into what 2012 may hold.

  • Interest in sentiment analysis exploded with the growth of the social Web, although its reputation suffered due to the prevalence of low-grade Twitter-sentiment toys, simplistic, wildly inaccurate systems that misled many into criticism of the concept where it was the cheap implementations they’d tried that were faulty.  In 2012, sentiment analysis will come into its own: Automated (and crowd-sourced!) mining of attitudes, opinions, emotions, and intent from social and enterprise sources, at the “feature” level, linked to real-world profiles and transactional data. — Seth Grimes, founder, Alta Plana Corp

  • SPARQL, the query language for RDF, could become more popular than RDF itself, as tools that let you send SPARQL queries to non-RDF sources such as relational databases become more popular. It certainly won’t pass RDF in popularity in 2012, but it’s an interesting trend to watch. — Bob  DuCharme, solutions architect, TopQuadrant


  • Search is becoming less and less important as we are moving away from a web of documents. It’s not about pages anymore, but activity. More hits don’t come from Google anymore, but from social networks as people click on links in micro-content. I don’t think established players will do as many interesting [things]. Look at Google – it bought Freebase and then they let it die, kind of; it doesn’t seem to have much activity. Dominiek ter Heide, CTO, Bottlenose


  • I think the semantic web on a large scale is more likely to come from Facebook than from Google. Nova Spivack, CEO & founder, Bottlenose


  • Semantic tools that are embedded into platforms will move the needle in 2012—they’ll likely compete with Share Point and Lotus Notes. This year leading into next, we’ll probably see LinkedIn continue to explore ways to integrate and link data.  Social CRM platform Salesforce.com will also probably acquire some search and metadata startups. Lastly, with all the buzz about big data in 2011, we may see some tangible business applications pop up as a result.Greg Merkle, VP of Product Strategy & Design, Dow Jones


  • Social analytics in real-time will become the new standard for success. In 2012, text analytics and CEM tools will be sharpened to specifically target certain industries and time-sensitive events. Across the board, the demand for real-time social analytics on timely events and topics like marketing campaigns, product launches, emerging issues and news events (such as the ongoing election and debates) is going to become the new standard for success. Social engagement also will move from specialized social teams to business users throughout the enterprise. Customer issues and opportunities appear and spike very quickly in social media.  Enterprise organizations must find ways to address this by integrating social media into their customer interaction processes.  Companies will implement multi-channel tools that integrate social analysis with other enterprise systems. There is an increasing demand among large, global, organizations for text analytics solutions capable of analyzing multi-lingual customer conversation data from millions of sources, while integrating with other systems (BI, CRM, etc). Big Data is predicted by analysts to be the next “must have” competency in 2012 as the volume of digital content grows to 2.7 zettabytes. Over 90 percent of this information will be unstructured — full of rich information, but challenging to understand and analyze.Rebecca MacDonald, VP of marketing at Attensity


  • I’ll be waiting for news about further schema.org uptake and first non-search-engine applications. Similarly OpenCrawl could bring lots of innovation to the market. Andraž Tori, Founder and Director, Zemanta


  • 2012 holds the promise of brands creating a more meaningful online advertising experience for target audiences by understanding their intent and motivation.  Advertising around audience mindset is possible due to new advances in online ad technology. This goes much deeper than contextual or NLP capabilities—it’s about learning what’s important to target audiences and serving them an ad based on their needs. – Dave Hills, CEO, Twelvefold Media’s (formerly BuzzLogic)


  • Online privacy will heat up again. Behavioral targeting and online privacy was hot in the first half of this year and will heat up in 2012 with the election year. Mobile will also be at the front of the argument with geo tracking and UID targeting.Seph Zdarko, COO, Twelvefold Media


  • Digital transformation is one of the management imperatives in the next decade. Based on the survey research by MIT Sloan School of Management, 40 percent of the companies envision a radical digital transformation. We can imagine an organization transformed by better ways to collect, analyze, and be prescriptively guided by information through cloud, mobile and social computing. Digital transformation is one of the biggest challenges but also a big opportunity to organizations, and also in the evolution of the web. In the span of two to three days, more digital data is collected by American businesses than has been collected in all of history up to the year 2003. To drive effective data-driven decision making, executives must build teams that know enough about the business to formulate questions correctly, and are also skilled in conducting data-driven analyses. This is a fairly rare combination of competencies. The data consists of Internet clickstreams, Google searches, mobile data, and ERP data related to operations and customers. It is now possible to analyze companies using very fine-grained information. Unstructured data, such as location data from cell phones, financial transactions, and information from security cameras and RFIDs, is one of the fastest-growing data categories. The large volumes of information about consumers’ intentions can be matched with other types of data to quickly build predictive models. Linked Data can enable the analysis of semantically structured, interconnected, syntactically interoperable datasets that are distributed among several repositories both inside organizations and their eco-systems. For example, linked data enables the easy, fast and automatic financial analysis of an organization in a socially connected manner, as described in Semantic Web for social and financial analytics. A study in MIT found that companies using a data-driven approach to decisions are 4 to 6 percent more productive than competitors that rely on intuition and experience to make decisions. Linked Data will be at the center of the nanodata revolution and digital transformation, enabling senior management to use data more effectively and to transform the way companies are run, as exemplated in Word to CIOs: Digital Business Means the Semantic Web. — Graham G. Rong, Chair, MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


What’s on your radar for 2012? Speak up below!




About the author

Jennifer Zaino is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in business and technology journalism. She has been an executive editor at leading technology publications, including InformationWeek, where she spearheaded an award-winning news section, and Network Computing, where she helped develop online content strategies including review exclusives and analyst reports. Her freelance credentials include being a regular contributor of original content to The Semantic Web Blog; acting as a contributing writer to RFID Journal; and serving as executive editor at the Smart Architect Smart Enterprise Exchange group. Her work also has appeared in publications and on web sites including EdTech (K-12 and Higher Ed), Ingram Micro Channel Advisor, The CMO Site, and Federal Computer Week.

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