I can tell you that widespread use of text mining and unstructured BI search is still on the horizon in most mainstream corporate settings. It is an unscientific finding, but I have connections, I am pretty good at digging out stories and I've had a tough time finding end users with an unstructured or integrated structured/unstructured story to bolt onto their traditional BI reporting/performance management work.Or maybe they have a story but it's too early to share. (I'm sure the National Security Agency could tell me a hell of a text mining story, but they're not talking.) With unstructured and semi-structured data playing a greater role in the business intelligence plans of enterprises there's every reason to believe that BI search and text analytics could redefine reporting in the future. At least one person thinks search will redefine reporting in the near future, though not exactly as you might think. According to a new report from The Data Warehouse Institute's Phil Russom, BI search will have a twist that could have a big impact on business intelligence itself.

I admit I haven't fully formulated scenarios or use cases for BI search, but I've mostly envisioned it as searching for existing reports and maybe looking up a nugget to support a reporting need. Russom's view may not be the first such take, but it did get me thinking. "Rudimentary BI search to find a report among thousands of reports is nice and useful, but advanced configurations are far more iconoclastic," he tells BI Review. "For instance, using BI search you can find sections of reports - even small artifacts like queries and data references - then assemble those to create a new report."

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