Business intelligence and statistical analysis techniques are running out of steam. Or at least that appeared to be the case.

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, for example, tried a wide range of analytic techniques to understand rising homeowner claims and suspicious auto claims, but could not find predictive patterns in the data. The insurance company's team of analysts, led by one of the authors (Ellingsworth), realized the problem was not with their techniques, but with their data. The analysts were dealing with new types of claims that were not fully described by the structured data collected by the company. Fortunately, the additional information was available in adjuster notes and other free-form texts.

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