LinkLog: Layered Intelligence and Semantic Search

In Information to Intelligence, I mentioned a process of progressive discovery of actionable intelligence from information streams. Our approach was to filter information based on relevance to your organization/business at every step of a multi-step process.

Today while going through some material on Semantic Web, I came across this nice presentation from We Know It.  We know it caught my attention since they were talking about collective intelligence (an interest area of many of us at Program for the future).

Here is a copy of the concept of layered intelligence from the presentation.

Layered Intelligence
Layered Intelligence

I think extracting semantic relationships from the large amount of public, organizational and social data may end up being the base information for specialized search engines.Imagine having access to public data about clinical trials and applying some kind of progressive extraction of intelligence and taking the output and representing it using a set of statements (say RDF triples). We can conceive of a very powerful search engine that uses this data to answer a variety of questions about healthcare

More about this in a future post.

Reflections: How Much Knowledge Do You Need?

I was listening to the Tech Nation Podcast where Moira interviews Chris Mooney, the author of  Unscientific America. The book deals with a fascinating topic – How Science illiteracy threatens our future.

In the interview they discuss a variety of topics including:

  • Minimalist Science
  • What the average citizen needs to know
  • Impact of Science on Economy
  • Factual Knowledge

Chris mentions that if you are in the “know”, you are in a privileged position. This goes beyond Science Literacy into Information Literacy. So let us ask the question differently. What is the minimal knowledge you need ? And how do you plan to acquire it?

Thanks to the internet you have lots of choices. The problem, however, is too many choices. Where do you start? How do you proceed? What exactly do we mean by Information literacy? What is it to a common man? To a Professional? To a Business?

Consult or Contract? Notes from John Carter’s Podcast

A couple of days ago, I heard John Carter’s Fire Your Boss and Start Consulting. I loved his simple style and great insights about the consulting business. A few jots from the podcast.

  • Happiness  is the difference between perception and reality (I guess in consulting, but may apply to life as well)
  • Give you prospect all the information you can. They can never digest all of it ( I think he used the word absorb instead of digest)
  • Marketing to Sales is like Research to Development
  • Find the Zeitgeist (Spirit of the times) and choose that area for consulting
  • Difference between a consultant and a contractor
  • How to compute your consulting fee
  • How much time does a consultant spend on marketing
  • Hourly rates or Fixed Project based rates?

Please feel free to add your take on consulting as well in the comments section here.

Gleaning Sentiments from Search Trends

We have been enjoying the benefits of Google Search and Google Trends. Once in a while, Google comes up with some interesting tools that gives us a peek at what you can do by tracking search trends. A search provides some insight into interests and sentiments. By tracking a large number of searches and identifying search patterns, you can get some glimpses into mass sentiments.

Google’s Domestic Trends is an amazing service.

Google Domestic Trends track Google search traffic across specific sectors of the economy. Changes in the search volume of a given sector on google.com may provide unique economic insight. You can access individual trend indexes by clicking on the left-hand navigation.

When you look at trends of searches people do, you get a very high level view of the sentiments. Google provides this for US, Canada, UK, China and Hong Kong. It is amazing that you can download some of the data into your spreadsheets for further analysis.

Information to Intelligence

Inspired by “The Back of the Napkin” visual thinking model, I was trying to describe what we (are trying to) do, in a single diagram. I came up with this:

information to intelligence

Here are a few questions to think about:

  • How do you find relevant sources of information?
  • How do you track it consistently?
  • How do you filter through the noise and produce useful information streams for different groups in your company?
  • How do you extract useful entities (company names, products, leads, projects, jobs) from this stream?
  • How do you aggregate it, share it with different groups inside and outside the company like colleagues, customers, partners?
  • In short, how do you turn the information torrents into actionable intelligence – Marketing Intelligence, Sales Intelligence, Competitor Intelligence, Industry Intelligence?

We are a building some of these. But I am always interested in finding out what others do.