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Searching structured data and the finding the voice of the customer

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A couple of companies I follow had interesting announcements today. First Attensity announced its new “Market Voice” product designed to allow automatic analysis of blogs, forums, reviews and other kinds of customer-generated content. The idea is to bring this information into the same environment as internal unstructured information so it can be analyzed as part of the “Voice of the Customer”.

Secondly Composite Software announced Discovery (press release). Discovery allows search-like functionality to be used for finding information in structured data with some neat tools for finding relationships between data and a nicely done integration with Excel (Neil and I saw a demo of this some weeks back). The ability to store and access what they call “recipes” allows for some collaboration and eliminates the need for everyone to build all their own.

These announcements are part of the growing trend for structured and unstructured data to be integrated into a single set of interfaces and APIs and, in the case of Attensity, the growing integration of the blogosphere into corporate information. Clearly the last few years have brought us much closer to the time when all information (inside or out, structured or unstructured) can be both easily accessed (through search interfaces, reports, dashboards) and used (in models, to find rules, to justify and support automated decisions).

Finally a note to PR people – when you send a blogger a press release in an email, make sure you give them a link to it online also. I am not going to cut and paste the press release so I need to link to it.

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