Monday, August 25, 2008

Making data more usable through semantic search

At DigitalNow 2008, Nova Spivak, Founder of, spoke about the future of search technology. The challenges we were facing then with regard to proliferation of data are still with us, and continue to compound. As we collect and store greater amounts of information, and as the number of systems we use to do that increases, it becomes more difficult to make the best use of all of the information that is available to us.

In order to take advantage of current search technology, people need to understand how applications and systems “think” and sort information, and then present their searches based on that logic.

Semantic search technology promises to change that. Semantic search is founded on a hierarchy of terminology, which experts refer to as an ontology.

“You’ve probably heard of taxonomies, which are just tree-structures of language. An ontology takes it to another level, rather than just having two dimensions broader and narrower you have an unlimited number of dimensions of how words or charts are related to each other,” explains Lynda Moulton, analyst for Gilbane Group.

Contrary to a taxonomy, you might say that an ontology makes it possible for search technology to deliver results based how people search, sort for, and apply information – in a contextual, multi-dimensional, cross-disciplinary manner.

“Semantic technology can give you the agility to take a lot of siloed data points and give you a holistic view across an enterprise,” says Ken Harris, vice president of product development for ACI Worldwide.

To read more about the benefits, challenges, and future of semantic web search, read this article at Baseline.

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At 12:03 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I think this post is dead-on - semantic technology is allowing us better and more definitive access to information on the web. I wanted to offer another site into the conversation: It's not focused on semantic search, but we do use semantic technology to power and build our network of sites. Our use of semantic language processing, ranking, and the addition of human editors is a fun new piece of the semantic web puzzle. Thanks for the post.



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