TDWI has announced the release of its latest best practices research report, "BI Search and Text Analytics: New Additions to the BI Technology Stack." The report, based on a late 2006 survey of corporate IT professionals, business intelligence (BI) consultants and business sponsors/users, explores the expansion of BI search and text analytics for unstructured data, provides definitions, distinguishes the drivers and details possible use cases for each.

The technology stack for BI and data warehousing (DW) is expanding to include relatively new additions - BI search and text analytics. BI search and text analytics are being added to mature BI/DW infrastructures to accommodate unstructured data (via text analytics) and related techniques (like search).

Pertinent findings in the report include:

  • The growing use of BI search and text analytics is part of a larger trend toward leveraging unstructured data in BI and DW, fields that previously have relied almost exclusively on structured data.
  • Although organizations enthusiastically recognize the business value of BI search and text analytics as high or very high for both BI search (62 percent) and text analytics (51 percent), very few have actually deployed either BI search (9 percent) or text analytics (6 percent).
  • Adoption of both BI search and text analytics will increase over the next five years.
  • The kinds of data sources for the average data warehouse will also change dramatically: unstructured data sources will soon be more common for data warehouse feeds; semi-structured data sources will increase moderately; miscellaneous unstructured sources will increase moderately, too; and some sources of structured data may decline, but the category will retain its dominance.
  • BI/DW professionals need to be aware of and prepared for the evolution to unstructured data. Unstructured and semi-structured data must be transformed into structured data; data integration and, to a lesser degree, data modeling will need to change to accommodate unstructured data; and BI/DW professionals will definitely need additional training.

"BI Search and Text Analytics: New Additions to the BI Technology Stack" is available for download on TDWI's Web site: http://www.tdwi.org/Research/ReportSeries/index.aspx.

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