What is Content Intelligence?

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by Ann Kelly

All organizations have it. It’s the human in­telligence found in every organization, every impression, perception, experience, decision and reasoning process of the people around you. It hides in e-mails, contracts, technical documents, meeting notes, blog posts, pro­posals, project plans, online chats and customer support records. It’s stored in con­tent management systems, on file shares and personal hard drives and in applications (Jeremy Bentley, Smartlogic).

According to IDC, approximately 80% of the informa­tion available in today’s enterprise is dispersed throughout the organization and the volume is growing at a rate of 50% to 60% each year. No matter how powerful, computers can’t derive meaningful information from unstructured data. And the diversity, volume and velocity at which it’s flowing into businesses make it difficult for individ­uals to manage…so they don’t. As a result, it just sits on the wayside gathering dust and isn’t used in decision-making processes which is a big mistake.

Enter content intelligence, the combination of semantic technology and information science that allow machines to model, interpret, de­scribe, analyze and visualize the human intelligence within an enterprise in order to leverage the human intelligence within that content. So why should organizations care about content intelligence? If they manage it they can use it to gain operational efficiencies, comply with regulation, and increase customer satisfaction. They can also leverage it to generate new revenue streams, increase productivity and avoid costly rework.

  • There’s an organizational cost to not having access to human intelli­gence. What if an energy provider sent an engineer to repair a malfunctioning windmill? If the engineer can’t access the most recent schematics and requests the wrong parts and tools to perform the repair, he’s wasted the organizations time and money traveling to the job site and the windmill still needs repair.
  • The increasing regulatory pressures on organizations today can result in increased costs and risk when content intelligence isn’t available. Drug compa­nies must report to regulators all observed side effects for drugs that are available for as long as the drug is on the market. Without content intelligence the ability to find this information among doctors, nurses and health care practitioners notes, is absent leaving them open to sanctions.
  • Finding new customers, re­taining existing customers and maximizing revenue per customer are challenges faced by every organization. What if it you could analyze the human intelligence found in your customer comments, customer support records and email messages to predict future sales; certainly a worthy effort and it won’t require purchasing information, you own it.
  • We’re all short on time and it seems like survey after survey reports that knowledge workers spend, on average, 30 to 40 minutes searching for information. Also, it’s estimated that this constant searching is found to reduce the average knowledge worker’s productivity by 21%, if we do a little math, this means for every 1,000 employees, an organization needs to hire an ad­ditional 210 employees to compensate for lost time – there’s got to be a better way.
  • It’s bad enough that people can’t find the information they need. When a critical document or piece of information is missing, people tend to reinvent the wheel and the organization loses time, money and productivity. And because they can’t find all the information, the results are most likely different which leads to inconsistencies in the way business is conducted.

In the same way that relational databases marked a wave of innovation; where data became self-describing and led to an explosion of innovation in the structured data space, content intelligence is the technology and approach that makes unstructured information self-describing. This self-description allows content-based information to be described in the same way as structured data and then combined into a single source for analysis and exploration. Who wouldn’t benefit from that?

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