From the Editors: Bleeding edge in natural language processing, mobile BI and Big Data

Natural language processing, mobile BI and Big Data are on the leading edge of technology innovation--but should you believe the hype?

Hype is always with us. In part, this is because however much technology companies know that meticulously researched market requirements should trump technology for its own sake, they can’t help themselves. And cool design and technology often succeeds anyway – think of the iPad.

IBM, in its centennial year, has broken new ground with Watson, its natural language processing computer that defeated some humans at their own game of Jeopardy. But how is this breakthrough in computing (as IBM describes it) to be commercialised? Well, one answer is healthcare. The ability to interactively explore information in natural language in a question and answer model seems like a good fit.

Mobile Business Intelligence might seem to be another cool technology in search of a useful application. And, certainly, mobile BI implementations are thin on the ground. However, and again in healthcare, a system developed using Sybase technology is delivering patient test data to consultants’ iPhones to three English hospitals.

If being over-led by technological innovation is a temptation for suppliers, then the ad hoc, reactive acquisition of technologies is a user weakness. This has been evident in Defra’s Geographic Information Systems, which, despite delivering much value, have been vitiated by a lack of proactive strategy upfront.

“Big data” – by which is meant enormous floods rather than just a lot – is at the extreme edge of what most organizations will face in the near future. Our expert Round table considers the business value and significance of the term.

I hope you find these leading edge stories to be of interest. If you would like to contact me about any aspect of BI or or data management, please do so.

Meanwhile, please find below links to other recent articles on that you might like to explore.

Best wishes,

Brian McKenna

Each month, editors choose recent articles and other content to highlight here for our readers. We welcome your feedback on these items and our site in general – you can contact us directly or at[email protected].

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