Saturday, June 14, 2008

The convergence of Structured and Unstructured Data

The DMReview published this month, an article entitled Structured and Unstructured: The What, Why and How of Convergence - Combination of Structured and Unstructured, by Anthony Politano.

He explains how to gather Structured and Unstructured Data, starting with early hints: "Two initial hints of how structured and unstructured data could come together within relational databases were 1) the usage of text fields and searching, and 2) storage of binary large objects (BLOBS) within the relational databases."

He also explains that a key convergence area of the structured and unstructured space is in decision support. He defines what he called What, Why, How Cycle of Convergence as: "In the what stage, a decision-maker is looking for the indicators from an information system that will aid in understanding the current state. In the why stage, a decision-maker has determined there is a problem, such as rising costs or dropping revenue. The decision-maker will want to determine why this happened. Armed with what is going wrong and why it is going wrong, the decision-maker now needs to determine how to fix the problem.Using the insight gained from the why stage, what-if models can be built that drive off of the key lagging indicators and any other insight gained from the unstructured data."

It is a good explanation about this challenging subject.

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