Visualizing Your Data

February 10, 2016  
Posted in Access Insights, Business strategy, metadata, News

Data visualization is the presentation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. It enables decision makers to see analytics presented visually, so they can grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns.

Visualizing complex data can be a challenge but also offers unique opportunities to direct perception without drowning in spreadsheets, numbers and queries.


At 2016 Data Harmony Users Group (#DHUG2016) this week, Access Innovation’s staff members Jack Bruce and Bob Kasenchak shared how Data Harmony can help with data visualization and make your business development department very happy with the data you can provide them in a way that will move the organization forward in meeting its goals.


Massive amounts of content is now the norm for most companies. Analyzing this volume of data and delivering real and usable information can be made easier with Data Harmony in a myriad ways with ease.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Governing on the Run

February 9, 2016  
Posted in Business strategy, metadata, News

The investments made by businesses in information governance and security, and embracing three new data classifications could prove beneficial in 2016. As devices are used for increasingly complex processes, data becomes more vulnerable to loss. Tech Target brought this news to us in their article, “New data classifications vital to information governance and security.

Information technology and security executives are developing comprehensive mobile data security plans and implementing stronger technology solutions. Governance challenges continue to grow as more employers adopt processes that allow mobile devices to perform work tasks. Workers no longer use devices to just check emails and their calendars, they have become not just a part of their every day life, they are used for increasingly complex processes. Unfortunately this means data becomes more vulnerable to loss.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

Our Top Information Industry Trends of 2015

  1. The Demise of the “Physical Book” has been exaggerated
  2. The Information Industry has no single central meeting
  3. Taxonomies are used in websites but not in search
  4. Analytics are booming.
  5. Changing information landscape
  6. Google Scholar
  7. Semantics, Linked Data, and the cloud
  8. Boomers are not retiring

The weather in Albuquerque is cold and overcast with a chance of snow for Christmas day—great weather to reflect on the trends we saw in 2015 and what’s ahead for 2016. This review is a narrow focus on things which impact Access Innovations view of the world and where things fit in within the information industry we enjoy.

  1. The Demise of the “Physical Book” has been exaggerated: print is on the rise 

At Techcom 2010, Nicolas Negroponte famously announced that “The physical book is dead.” In fact, five years later, the e-book is declining, while books have witnessed an incredible double-digit increase this year. Some surprise sleepers leading the sales include adult coloring books—I just got a couple myself!

  1. The Information Industry has no single central meeting or gathering point 

Associations are important parts of our professional engagement, and often of learned publishers as well—which makes them our customers. The world of professional associations is under many different kinds of pressures. Attendance is down at library meetings, but booming in technical fields. Formerly crucial conferences, such as International Online (dead) and SLA (withering) no longer provide a gathering of all members of the industry in a single spot.

As this market has fragmented we find ourselves attending more, not fewer, meetings—an alphabet soup of smaller meetings: STM, ALPSP, PSP, SSP, CES, CESSE, NFAIS, SIIA, etc. InfoToday meetings are split into a confusing array of verticals such that you don’t even know who else is there. Other conferences like DataVersity, Predictive Analytics, and SemTechBiz, seem to change their names yearly; it’s hard to tell whether it is the same group of attendees.

  1. Taxonomies are used in websites…but not in search 

Metadata needs to be included in the fundamental design for search to work really well.

Search has been king…but is back to being a pauper. Precision and recall gave way to “relevance” (defined as “my guess that this result is what you want returned!”). (or more cynically, “This is what we want you is best for you”.)Those who operate on the search kernel fundamentally cannot believe that words should have controls added to disambiguate them. Search should be smart enough to incorporate word differences, but without taxonomies and other vocabulary control options it is not.

The Dialog search system was optimized for metadata from the ground up, but implementations of, for example, Lucene usually add a taxonomy after the fact–when the implementation is already done. The taxonomy, the inclusion of which was likely insisted upon by the librarian or web master, is just an annoyance to be dealt with.

Web interfaces are doing an increasingly good job of mitigating the need for training to effectively use their underlying systems. Often, parametric or fielded search options are included in the facets right in the web interface. Most of the well-fielded search implementations are on SQL, Oracle, or Endeca platforms. Search is still broken; it still needs metadata.

Search is still lost in general. It is incredibly difficult to get those who generate the search kernel to believe that vocabulary control is needed, and in fact produces measurably better search results (it goes against the core training they get in computer science school.) so the work-around ends up being to embrace the taxonomy on the web site.

A few scholarly publishing/research sites actually use taxonomy terms in the search (for both type ahead and for the first inverted file search) on the technical side. Those sites are sticker– clients love them, as they deliver precise results without having to go to Google Scholar to find the papers they want. Of course, Google Scholar itself does not have much of a taxonomy: just 260 terms to cover the world of content on their site, and is amazingly well hidden from view. 

There are an increasing number of scholarly and research web sites leveraging taxonomies to excellent intent. Some of our clients’ sites include:

The JSTOR Labs Sustainability Portal

The Public Library of Science (PLOS) Topic Browser

The Center for Disease Control’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Mining (NIOSH) Portal

American Institute of Physics’ Scitation Platform

  1. Analytics are booming 

Predictive text and search analytics are rapidly moving fields. Analytics help corral the onslaught of incredible amounts of information (“big data” in some cases) and translate the results into pictures or visualizations of the data in ways that are easy to understand by putting together trends and diverse data sets into meaningful, actionable data. End users are using linking and dashboard tools to uncover new trends, and content providers use them for market research and management.

Included in the area of analytics is data mining, which brings into focus large bodies of information—but also raises the often conflicting issues of privacy, security, and freedom of expression; for example balancing detecting signs of terrorism with common sense. Everything is considered to its logical extreme; moderation and goodwill are lost.

  1. Changing information landscape

Libraries are disappearing, information storehouses and archives are appearing, corporate information is still hard to find, and knowledge walks out the door when employees leave. In the meantime, we can look up anything during a dinner conversation (just ask Siri, Cortana, Alexa, or Google!). The need for printed references is declining, as Siri (and her companions) can find things on the web and point you to valid links.

During the 1970-1995 time period we attended many meetings that focused on looking for ways to find the “Elusive End User”. Now everyone is a consumer of digital information, and the demand/need for information is increasing rapidly. Barriers to information access come and go—which creates demand.

For example, access to medical services and first-hand medical information was restricted by health care providers, so the Internet has stepped in to meet that need; some of that information is of high quality, but much is misleading. In October of this year, the U.S. adopted the ICD-10 for coding diseases on among forms medical insurance claims forms —years after the rest of the world. The CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has also mandated more information be made available to patients by providing relevant content at the time of service. The flip side is heavy fines and slow cash flow for providers who do not accurately code using the new system.

  1. Google Scholar comes of age

At first, Google Scholar terrified scholarly publishers. Now, however, they strive to ensure that their articles are all indexed by the scholar crawlers for maximum exposure. While Impact Factors for authors and publishers are still important, the trend seems to be to strive to get your publications the top hits/results in Google. The new game is to use Google as a springboard to more content: surface the data in Google, and lead the user to a deep dive on the publisher’s site.

  1. Semantics, Linked Data, and the Cloud 

“In the beginning was the word…” Without the words there is no way to express a thought. Words express meaning. Words are the semantics. In Pygmalion Professor Higgins notes that “the moment an Englishman opens his mouth another English man despises him” for his manner of expression and his accent. On top of that we now have incredible limits on expression applied by the political correctness and thought police. So individual expression becomes guarded, coded and moves underground.

Taxonomies make semantic inferences much more reliable. Disambiguation of terms and gathering of synonyms has to be done within context; once the context is established, inferences can be reliably drawn. The sentence “George lives in London” makes no sense without knowing which London and which George is meant.

Linked Data (and Linked Open Data) are becoming much more prevalent because of the context and underlying data structures and definitions they offer. Open vocabularies and datasets, and the links between them (which clarifying the terms used) are increasingly available.

All of this interlinking of data is enabled by ability to link things via the universally available Internet. Whether a closed corporate or government system, open web, or some combination, entire systems are being moved to the “Cloud”—that place where any information object can be reached with a URL (and perhaps appropriate access and permissions). We have seen a massive migration to Cloud access from installed systems over the last year more than double what we saw in 2014. I believe this trend will accelerate.

  1. Boomers are not retiring.

It isn’t just that they are getting older and might not have enough money; they really don’t want to give up and transition out of the workforce. They like what they are doing, feel like they have a positive contribution to make, and would like to continue to do so.

All of the rules for ADA compliance that governments and organizations have been implementing over the last few years have enabled people with age-related disabilities to continue to work:

In the meantime, some 92 million “Millennials” are entering the workforce with different mindsets, work approaches, and information-gathering methods.

While the 77 million in the Baby Boomer class maintain some of the old approaches to information, the new, born-digital set has different expectations…and both have the same informational needs:

The workplace is changing. Seniority is being replaced by ability. Increasingly capability determines advancement instead of age.  While politicians campaign on income equality, the workplace is adjusting to a whole new playbook based on what people of any age contribute to the products and services of the organization. We are moving to a sharing economy, immediate information access, and constant social interactions. This means paywalls are avoided, ads are tolerated, privacy is not a concern, but identity theft is. In these times of global strife, continuing economic uncertainty, and technological change the workforce may well move to be more like the Millennials, with a resulting workforce which is fast-adapting, flexible, and innovative.

2016 is a whole new world! We look forward to it.

Marjorie Hlava, President
Jay Ven Eman, CEO
Access Innovations, Inc.

Building Knowledge Management

December 24, 2015  
Posted in Business strategy, News

Progressive Digital Media is in talks over the potential acquisition of a provider of healthcare business information. Proactive Investors brought this news to us in their article, “Progressive Digital Media in talks over potential transaction.”

The company has stated that the deal would add ‘a third industry vertical’ to the group’s existing business information proposition and would be consistent with the group’s strategy of focusing on business information and exiting from non-core products and sectors.

Knowledge management deals a lot with the way we structure our information, using complex concepts such as information architecture, taxonomy, ontology, folksonomy, and metadata. Technologies are advancing and soon we will be able to visualize more about the knowledge.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

Online Conference Covers Data Governance

December 1, 2015  
Posted in Business strategy, News

A unique learning experience is planned for 2016 when the Enterprise Data Governance Online event will bring leading industry experts right to your computer.

January 27, 2016 is a full day of online sessions with industry experts sharing their lessons learned in the field, guiding you in best practices, and providing in-depth education on the hottest topics in Data Governance.

This free event brings you seven presentations, each are 40 minutes long with a 10-minute Q & A, followed by a 10-minute break. During breaks you are encouraged to check out the exhibits or network with other attendees in the meet up room. Slides will be available for download and you can watch the programs on demand even after the event is over.

Topics will include data governance framework, data storytelling, and business values, and much  more.

Learn more and register for this free event here.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Resource for Tearing Down Silos

November 23, 2015  
Posted in Business strategy, News

Most leaders know that a silo mentality reduces organizational efficiency, which can reduce productivity and revenue. It seems obvious and yet many organizations struggle to implement an effective knowledge management solution. A recently released white paper can walk you though the steps to get buy-in for your project. KM World brought this information to us in their article, “Getting Internal Buy-In For A Knowledge Base.”

Silos often happen because groups can’t easily share information internally. Facilitating internal communication and knowledge sharing can break down barriers and gain efficiencies across the entire enterprise. It requires changes in processes and technology as well as a shift in the internal culture and attitude regarding open cross-functional communication among employees throughout the organization.

Take time to download the free resource. It might change the way you work.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Becoming a Learning Organization

November 12, 2015  
Posted in Business Intelligence, Business strategy, News

Knowledge management has often been used to solve organizational knowledge issues, even before social media tools have arrived adding additional power. This interesting information came from IHS Engineering in their article, “Making Knowledge Management a Part of Your Organization’s Culture.”

In organizations concerned with innovation and knowledge-based products and services—often referred to as knowledge organizations—much of the knowledge required to innovate or maintain products is institutional knowledge residing in employees’ minds. What happens when these workers leave the company? This institutional knowledge leaves with them.

But this doesn’t have to occur. Poorly organized resources often end up in a poorly managed file system or siloed into a database that isn’t well-known or accessible.

Organizations that desire to retain knowledge and foster innovation must effect a cultural change to become a learning organization. The key is to modify the organization’s culture into one that promotes sharing, learning and the interconnection vs. the traditional silo mentality that power is knowledge and it is all a turf war.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

Learning and Networking Opportunity in Chicago

October 15, 2015  
Posted in Business strategy, metadata, News

The Data, Strategy & Architecture Analytics conference is being held in Chicago next month. With more than 15 different workshop topics available and four different keynote speakers and topics, there is much to look forward to if you are planning to attend. If you aren’t, well, why not?

One of the keynotes speakers is Thomas Redman, founder and president of Navesink Consulting GroupHis keynote speech is titled, “What’s Holding You Back?” Redman is known as the “Data Doc” because he helps companies, including many of the Fortune 100, improve data quality.

Believing that fear has replaced apathy and ignorance as the number one enemy of all things data, Redman shares  his thoughts after his most recent scan of the data management space. This fear reflects a growing sense that, sooner or later, data will penetrate every nook and cranny of every industry, company, and department, transforming the work, relationships and power structures. The fear extends beyond business people–even lovers of data feel it.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

Winner Among Winners

June 22, 2015  
Posted in Business strategy, News

The KMWorld awards are designed to celebrate success stories of knowledge management, highlighting the best of the best. The awards recognize excellence in organizations who have proven that they deliver their promise. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges and will be announced at KMWorld 2015. The 2015 KMWorld Awards are accepting nominations through August 28, 2015.

Previous years’ winners include familiar names like Decooda, NASA, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Mindtree.

KMWorld 2015 is scheduled for November 2-5, 2015 in Washington D.C. KMWorld 2015 offers a wide-ranging program especially focused to meet the needs of executives and strategic business and technology decision makers.

Learn more and register here.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

Aspirations for the Future

June 19, 2015  
Posted in Business strategy, News

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the world’s largest biomedical library. There are those that believe it should become an “epicenter for data science” across the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The American Association for the Advancement of Science brought this to our attention in their article, “National Library of Medicine urged to take on broader role.” This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t continue its current program. The plan encourages new directions for the library without mentioning anything being cut, which comes as a relief to many.

This stems from a working group appointed in January by NIH Director Francis Collins, who invited them to re-envision the future of NLM.

The NLM has a 179-year history and became part of NIH in 1962. In the beginning, it was a paper collection, but the library soon added digital resources.


Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

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