Imagine this. You just received a document from a prospective client. Document is an RFP listing requirements for solution this client needs. Your immediate thoughts are..
[quote style=”boxed”]”What is the size of this deal? Which key technology, business, operational and support folks do I have to assemble? Have we built a similar solution before? Has anyone in my organization worked with this client? Who from my organizational social network can help give an edge on this deal?“[/quote]
You want to identify key people, technologies, skills required mentioned within this document. With these facts you will move to figure out means of accessing right resources, skills and relationships in your scope of influence and visibility.
Search, Sift, Collect. Repeat.
What happens next is a fairly established pattern. You open the document, read through, take notes and start searching your email, personal notes & document repositories, documents in your intranet portal and so on. You carefully choose which terms to search on and assemble a list of follow on leads to dig into. This process is repeated for your email, your personal notes stored in personal or cloud document repositories, your corporate intranet portal and more. This is an endless cycle of search, sift, collect, search, sift, collect…
With a Search Hammer..
Search works when you know what to look for. A specific keyword, the name of a person or organization. Search based exploration works for one hop goals. If your target is over three “search, sift, collect” cycles away then its easy to get lost. But we employ keyword search so often that we don’t recognize its inefficiencies for scenarios like the one above…Search is just a launch point to chase links of relationships to get to your end goal. The crux lies in the “chase links of relationships” bit.
No Document is an Island
What we are trying to do is to visualize relationships implicit in the document’s content. By relationships we mean semantic relationships of concepts in the document. These concepts implicitly connect to corresponding/related concepts stored elsewhere. The ‘elsewhere‘ could be your email, cloud based document corpus, web pages that you have bookmarked or even your intranet document portal.
Disquery is for Discovery
With CollabLayer, via our Disquery feature, visualizing entity relationships that matter is made easy. With a few clicks you can pull a bunch documents from a project workspace and create a Disquery out of them. You can instantly see the interesting entities and keywords that it contains and the relationships between them. You could add more documents selectively, revealing more insight into connections that can potentially exist.
Disquery, Common Tasks
Let us look at a few common tasks you might want to perform.
Real-time Entity Search
Your Disquery can get crowded based on a variety of factors. And now how to zero in on a specific entity? Easy, just type the first few letters. Matching node names would be highlighted in real-time. After matching node names, the search would even extend to all documents on the Disquery surface..all in real-time.
Context of Entity Occurrence
You found entities of interest. Now you are curious about context of occurrence. Where in the document does this person name occur and so on. Easy again. Click on the edge that connects the document and the entity icon. A pop over to your right shows a fragment of text where the entity occurs. What if there are multiple occurrences of the entity? Easy again. Scroll down in the pop over to see other occurrences.
Ability to see context of occurrence makes it easy to quickly “read” a document. Click on interesting edges and you end up reading all sentence fragments.
There are more features in there but we would like to keep this post short! And more is planned that “could” change how you consume unstructured data.
Could I play with it?
Sounds like you are intrigued..yes, we would love to have you sign up for CollabLayer. We are opening up access in batches, your turn should be soon. Its free during beta and you can always export back your data anytime. As with every startup, this is a labor of love and we would be delighted to have your feedback!
[button link=”http://collablayer.com/#get-beta” color=”orange”]Yes, Sign me up![/button]