IBM Software Tracks Blogs, Web Content to Capture ‘Buzz’

IBM today introduced a new software solution that enables businesses to make sense of the explosion of information from emerging social networks on the Web to deliver new insight into brand reputation and customer, competitor and public opinion about their company.

The proliferation of blogs, news feeds, consumer review sites, newsgroups and articles published daily on the Web has created a phenomenon where public opinion about an organization spreads worldwide, faster than ever before. These sources are filled with insight from consumers, experts and competitors that can be analyzed and used by businesses to make better decisions on products, services and business strategies. This creates a tremendous opportunity for organizations to carefully monitor their image and more quickly address business opportunities, threats, quality concerns or changing public perception.

To help clients gain a real-time view of commentary and opinion about their business, IBM is delivering a new Public Image Monitoring Solution, a software offering designed with Nstein Technologies and Factiva, to allow organizations to analyze and make sense of commentary, issues and information affecting their brand, providing new insight into how they operate and make business decisions.

Companies can use the Public Image Monitoring Solution to track success of product introductions and marketing campaigns, to help determine focus areas for product and marketing improvements, and to conduct impact analysis by comparing consumer feedback and industry trends to actual sales data and marketing investments.

Organizations in diverse industries can benefit from this solution. For example, a consumer goods manufacturer could use this software to track response to new product introductions by examining consumer product reviews and blog discussions about the new product, drill down into information from regions of the world where public sentiment about the product was less than positive, and identify hot topics or trends associated with the product.

The solution leverages IBM’s deep expertise in text analytics and semantic search technology from IBM Research and IBM Business Consulting Services’ brand management practice. It supports IBM’s company-wide strategy to help clients identify, access and extract valuable meaning out of information — regardless of format, source or structure — thereby enabling them to make better, more informed business decisions.

“Companies are seeking new ways to better understand how they are viewed by customers, investors and other stakeholders who have an impact on their brand reputation,” said Jon Prial, vice president, IBM content management and discovery. “This solution can help clients track and analyze the pulse of the public in real-time, allowing organizations to be more responsive and deliver better service to their customers.”

The Public Image Monitoring Solution is based on IBM WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition, the first commercial platform for deploying UIMA-based text analytics solutions. WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition provides advanced intelligent search capabilities, making it easier for companies to access critical business information and greatly improve the relevance of their search results. By extending customers’ ability to gain real-time insight into their business information, it enables them to make more effective decisions and be more competitive in the marketplace.

The solution also leverages multi-lingual text analytics from Nstein Technologies which enables the extraction of advanced metadata, allowing organizations to identify “hot topics” as well as analyze tone, facts, opinions, events, locations, and indirect alliances to detect early trends and emerging problems. In addition, the solution enables organizations to incorporate content from Factiva, such as news feeds and published articles.

“Understanding what is said about a company and its products can provide tremendous competitive advantage,” said Greg Gerdy, vice president and director of channel marketing and strategy, Factiva. “Factiva is heavily committed to the emerging market around mining content for value-added intelligence. Our rich set of thousands of world-class news sources is a key component in this market transformation, and having IBM as a driver will make it happen much faster.”

The Public Image Monitoring Solution is built upon the Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA), an open framework for building sophisticated analytic applications that provide domain-specific applications, analytics, taxonomies, and ontologies that can uncover latent meaning, relationships, and facts buried in information sources.

The Public Image Monitoring Solution is currently available from IBM and Nstein Technologies. IBM WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition version 8.3, an enhanced version of the company’s technology foundation for delivering actionable information in context through enterprise search and text analysis of databases, content management systems, file systems, collaboration systems and external websites, is targeted to be available during fourth quarter 2005.

About IBM

The need to access, manage and deliver information more effectively is driving rapid change in the IT marketplace. Companies grappling with increased business demands and government compliance mandates are striving to capture and integrate data in a more seamless, real-time fashion across their enterprises, regardless of the underlying format or structure. IBM’s approach combines industry expertise with open standards, advanced storage systems and software to integrate, manage, secure and deliver information in the form of services that perform business functions. For more information about IBM, visit www.ibm.com.

From IBM

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