Is an ‘Insight Engine’ a Bunch of Hooey?

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Insight Engine

Is an ‘Insight Engine’ a Bunch of Hooey?

This is the first of a two-part blog on insight engines and a somewhat biased view of the marketplace.

Gartner renamed enterprise search engines to insight engines, even if the vendors have no such thing. Of course, I am biased toward our software but if you can ignore that, you can decide if an insight engine is a bunch of hooey or for real.

First of all, what is an insight engine? I decided to go to the source, Gartner. Here is its explanation, “Insight engines apply relevancy methods to describe, discover, organize and analyze data. This allows existing or synthesized information to be delivered proactively or interactively, and in the context of digital workers, customers or constituents at timely business moments.”

Hmmm. That’s what we do. We call it delivering content in context at the point of need. And, I would add, we’ve been doing it a lot longer than the Gartner definition has been around. Our definition is, “Concept Searching’s technologies help clients leverage the value in their content, when and where they need it.”

Intelligent content in context is the output of the conceptClassifier platform – technologies and products deployed as an infrastructure metadata layer, enabling the identification and surfacing of intelligent content in context to any business application able to consume it. Deployed across all platforms, encompassing on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments, the identification of intelligent content in context enables organizations to immediately improve application functionality, and automate processes and policies surrounding unstructured and semi-structured content. Ok, off the soap box. I won’t do that again, so you can continue reading. Just wanted to make a point.

What does Gartner’s definition really mean? Well, if you consider the search process, users enter two or three words – to be precise, 2.73 words – in the hope of finding the information they are seeking. In a business setting, one would assume they are searching for relevant information to assist with the task at hand.

The task at hand, or in Gartner’s terms the “timely business moments,” will most likely be different for each information retrieval request. If I am in billing and using Salesforce, I want to retrieve very different information from that required by customer support or sales staff. But if a client hasn’t paid an invoice because of an outstanding customer support issue, I may want to know that too. So, delivering the required information at the time of need can be a tough nut to crack.

How are all us vendors delivering the functionality envisioned by Gartner? Read the concluding part of this blog here.

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