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Risk Publications Creates Search Engine with Intelligent Miner

Published
  • July 01 1998, 1:00am EDT

PLATFORMS: AIX and Windows NT available now. OS/390 and Sun Solaris will follow.

BACKGROUND: Headquartered in London, Risk Publications was established in 1987 with the launch of Risk Magazine, the world's leading financial risk management title. Risk Publications' prestigious portfolio has expanded to include a series of specialist financial magazines, books, electronic publications, directories and guides and a highly successful conferences and courses division.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The vast amount of information available on the Internet has made it nearly impossible to retrieve relevant data using generic search engines. Key word searches often result in a barrage of content that may not have anything to do with the subject. For example, a banker searching for particulars on financial bonds could end up sifting through endless pages about James Bond. To address this problem Risk Publications created FinanceWise, a search engine specifically designed to retrieve prequalified and indexed financial content from the Internet. By combining the company's knowledge of the financial world with Intelligent Miner for Text, IBM's leading-edge text mining and search technology, FinanceWise (www. financewise.com) makes the World Wide Web truly useful again.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: FinanceWise provides three types of search facilities. The first is the basic key word search. The second is the smart search, which allows the user to search for a company by name or by criteria such as type of company, country, level of English content, etc. The third, called a sector search, enables users to drill down to the information they need through a series of directories, which are divided into subdirectories, leading to an increasingly refined topic search. To accomplish this, FinanceWise uses two components of Intelligent Miner for Text: NetQuestion, a powerful full-text search service that is designed and optimized to handle the huge amount of information typically stored on Web sites; and the crawler, which is used to survey the Internet and return content from multiple domains. The crawler enables the search engine to very quickly drill down many layers of a Web site, so users can retrieve in-depth data extremely fast.

STRENGTHS: Only Intelligent Miner for Text offered the degree of customization, scalability and speed of indexing which was needed for a project on the scale of FinanceWise. In addition, we were very impressed with its advanced toolset for linguistic analysis, clustering and filtering.

WEAKNESSES: We feel Intelligent Miner for Text would benefit from a more user-friendly front-end GUI. Its spider and indexing administration need a good level of familiarity with UNIX which limits the staff we can assign to its administration.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected Intelligent Miner for Text because IBM really understood what we were trying to do. For the level of functionality and sheer horsepower FinanceWise requires, you need a very powerful system. We talked to other search engine companies, and they just didn't understand the level of sophistication we were working toward.

DELIVERABLES: Intelligent Miner for Text is currently coping well with over 12,000 registered users, growing at the rate of 1,000 new users a week--while also updating a current universe of five million fully indexed finance-specific Web pages. It seems to be able to handle whatever we throw at it.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Since we have been testing the NetQuestion component of Intelligent Miner for Text from its Alpha release stage, IBM's development team in Germany has been working very closely with us as well as gathering useful feedback for IBM's future development for the product.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is available on CD- ROM.

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