IBM made a number of announcements last week at IOD regarding new products/offerings to help companies analyze content. One was Cognos Content Analytics, which enables organizations to analyze unstructured data alongside structured data. It also looks like IBM may be releasing a “voice of the customer” type service to help companies understand what is being said about them in the “cloud” (i.e. blogs, message boards, and the like). Stay tuned on that front, it is currently being “previewed”.
I was particularly interested in a new product called IBM Infosphere Content Assessment, because I thought it was an interesting use of text analytics technology. The product uses content analytics (IBM’s term for text analytics) to analyze “content in the wild”. This means that a user can take the software, run it over servers that might contain terabytes (or even petabytes) of data to understand what is being stored on servers. Here are some of the potential use cases for this kind of product:
- Decommission data. Once you understand the data that is on a server, you might choose to decommission it, thereby freeing up storage space
- Records enablement. Infosphere Content Assessment can also be used to identify what records need to go into a records management system for a record retention program
- E-Discovery. Of course, this technology could also be used in litigation, investigation, and audit. It can analyze unstructured content on servers which can help to discover information that may be used in legal matters or information that needs to meet certain audit requirements for compliance.
The reality is that the majority of companies don’t formally manage their content. It is simply stored on file servers. The IBM product team’s view is that companies can “acknowledge the chaos”, but use the software to understand what is there and gain control over the content. I had not seen a product positioned quite this way before and I thought it was a good use of the content analysis software that IBM has developed.
If anyone else knows of software like this, please let me know.