Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Value of Taxonomy in IBM Watson Explorer

WAND Taxonomies are the only third party taxonomies explicitly supported for use in IBM Watson Explorer.  In today's  blog post, we wanted to do a deeper dive on the value of taxonomy in IBM Watson Explorer.  These features are all already very well described in the IBM Watson Explorer product documentation, by the way, so this blog can be considered a supplementary resource.

Taxonomy is a important ingredient to provide users with the absolutely best experience with the IBM Watson Explorer search engine.

There are three key value adds for taxonomy in IBM Watson Explorer.

1) Synonym Query Expansion.  Users want to get consistent results. A user who searches for HR should get the same results as somebody who searches for "Human Resources" because these are the same concepts.  If a search for "HR" only returns 15 results, and a search for Human Resources returns 24 results, AND only 5 results appear in both searches, then there is a major completeness and consistency problem.  Depending on which version of the same concept a user searches for will affect what the user finds.  It also won't be obvious to the user that they are missing out on a lot of possibly relevant information.   From a search perspective, taxonomy is helping to expand the "recall" of the user query.

2) Related, Broader, and Narrower Query Expansion.  Synonym query expansion is designed to add to your query withe other ways to reflect the same concept.  Related, Broader, and Narrower query expansion are designed to add to the user query with other concepts that may be relevant.  For example, if using a Narrower query expansion with the WAND Finance and Investment Taxonomy, a query for "Currencies" could be expanded to also search for Dollar, USD, Peso, Euro, Yen, and more from.  Users would be able to control the expansion by selecting/de-selecting  the specific terms that are in the taxonomy.

3) Auto-Classification and Metadata Refinement.  While query expansion focuses on "recall" of search, auto-classification and metadata refinement provides the user with significantly improved control over the precision of search results.  Taxonomy can be imported into the IBM Watson Explorer auto-classification module. This module will crawl all of your documents and, based upon rules, classify each document into the relevant taxonomy categories.     Then, when users perform a query, the result set can be refined by clicking on one of the taxonomy terms (or branches) to narrow down the result set to only those which were automatically classified to that term.  So, in one click, a user may go from 2500 results to a sub-set of 15 results that have been classified to a specific topic of interest.This is very similar to the way that a user on an e-commerce site can narrow down the product result set by things like color or brand.

See a screenshot here of taxonomy refiners in an IBM Watson Explorer search result page

IBM Watson Explorer does have algorithmic clustering which provides refiners based on what the engine deems to be statistically interesting within your document set. This can reveal interesting concepts but can also be subject to a lot of noise, as it is not curated.  A term may be statistically significant but not interesting to a human.  Taxonomy and Auto-Classification provides refiners based on a curated set of terms which a library scientist (or your corporate taxonomist!) has deemed to be important.

Both approaches add value and they should be considered complementary.  The algorithmic clustering may identify some concepts or synonyms which could be added to the official taxonomy.

How to accelerate taxonomy for IBM Watson Explorer

In summary, taxonomy in Watson Explorer provides the users with a number of valuable tools that provide greater relevancy, recall and control over the search experience.

WAND Taxonomies cover nearly every vertical industry segment and business functional area so that relevant taxonomy content is easily available for all clients.  Users of IBM Watson Explorer can jump start taxonomy creation with access to the WAND Taxonomy Library Portal and download taxonomies in a format that imports directly into IBM Watson Explorer.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to use synonyms to improve search in SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016

A common misconception with the SharePoint Managed Metadata Service, where taxonomies are deployed, is that the "Other Labels" or synonyms that you add to the SharePoint Term Store will have an impact on SharePoint search.

In reality, the "Other Labels" in the SharePoint term store are only useful when users are tagging content with managed metadata terms.  What this means is that if "HR" is an other label for "Human Resources" in the term store, then if a user begins to type "HR" in the type-ahead tagging capability, SharePoint will direct the user that the correct tag is "Human Resources".  This is helpful and makes sure that users are tagging to the preferred form of the concept that has been defined in the term store. It reduces frustration when tagging by pointing synonyms to the correct place in the taxonomy.

However, it does not help with search.  Don't worry!  there is a way to use synonyms to improve search.

The value of synonyms in SharePoint search is in query expansion.  That is, if "HR" and "Human Resources" are synonyms, a user searching for either term will automatically have the query expanded to search for both variants.  This is an effective way to help users get complete search result sets.  It's an important detail to address to ensure you are delivering the best search experience possible for your users.

Microsoft Technet provides this article with detailed instructions on how to create and maintain a thesaurus in SharePoint Server 2013.  There is a Technet blog post with similar content in case you want an article with some more images.  The content is relevant for SharePoint Server 2016 as well.

Unfortunately, you cannot import a thesaurus in SharePoint Online.


Taxonomies downloaded for SharePoint from the WAND Taxonomy Library Portal come with a file listing the synonyms for the taxonomy.  This file can be used as a thesaurus file for the SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint 2016 search engine.  Remember, however, that only a single thesaurus file can be loaded, so if you download multiple taxonomies from WAND, you will need to combine the supplementary synonym files into one to create a master thesaurus file.


This blog post is relevant for SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Introducing the WAND Facilities Management Taxonomy

Today we are releasing a brand new taxonomy designed specifically for businesses that also have facilities management needs: The WAND Facilities Management Taxonomy.

In this taxonomy of 604 categories and 325 synonyms are terms relating to all areas of Facilities Management including Maintenance and Repairs, Housekeeping, Sustainability Management, and Facilities Services.

You'll also find terms relating to Safety and Security, Policies and Procedures, Documents, and Facility Inspections and Testing.


The WAND Facilities Management Taxonomy

provides a strong foundation of terms and can be customized to include additional terms related to a specific type of facility.

As with all WAND Taxonomies, the WAND Facilities Management Taxonomy is available by itself or as part of the WAND Taxonomy Library Portal.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

WAND releases its new Hospitality Taxonomy

The hospitality industry, including travel and tourism, makes up nearly 10% of the global economic GDP.  Today we are releasing a brand new taxonomy designed specifically for the businesses in this space: The WAND Hospitality Taxonomy.

Included in this taxonomy of 1,127 terms and 354 synonyms are the various types of Travel, Lodging, Dining and Entertainment that are a part of the hospitality experience.

You'll also find terms relating to Guests including Reservations, Guest Information, and Customer Loyalty Programs. Hospitality Policies, Protocols and Procedures.

The release of this taxonomy fills a major industry gap in our taxonomy library and furthers WAND's mission of having a relevant pre-built taxonomy for every business sector.

The WAND Hospitality Taxonomy can be customized to meet the needs of any specific business in the hospitality industry.  Another WAND Taxonomy that fits nicely with the Hospitality Taxonomy is the WAND Customer Service Taxonomy

As with all WAND Taxonomies, the WAND Hospitality Taxonomy is available by itself or as part of the WAND Taxonomy Library Portal.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Announcing the WAND eCommerce Taxonomy Portal

WAND's business philosophy is that our pre-built taxonomies help organizations jump-start the development of their own high-quality taxonomies.   Instead of starting from scratch, WAND Taxonomies provide a solid starting point that can simply be customized.  This helps our clients save months in their taxonomy development process and reduces frustration because it is significantly easier to edit and revise a taxonomy than create one from scratch.  

We are proud to announce we now bring this same approach to the product taxonomy market with the the launch of the WAND eCommerce Taxonomy Portal.  The WAND eCommerce Taxonomy Portal is the fastest way to create a product taxonomy for retailers, procurement, MDM, distributors, manufacturers, and anybody who deals with product specifications.

With the new WAND eCommerce Taxonomy Portal, clients can access:

  • Library of over 44,000 pre-defined, product category specific attribute templates that are ready-to-be-customized for your specific requirements (from our flagship WAND Product and Service Taxonomy)
  • Pre-defined category hierarchies that can be used to jump-start a tree
  • 70,000+ pre-defined attributes
  • 261,000+ pre-defined attribute values
  • Intuitive drag and drop tree editor
  • Custom Attribute anad attribute value creation
  • Simple to create new categories and link them to a pre-defined WAND template
  • Import and edit existing taxonomies
  • Optional attribute inheritance
  • Attribute re-ordering
  • Data export into a wide variety of common formats that can import directly into common product information management tool and ecommerce engines.
The WAND eCommerce Taxonomy Portal is a revolutionary tool for the product taxonomy space.  Learn more about this new product at our website where you can see screenshots, a short video demo, product summaries, and a new WAND white paper called "The Importance of Product Taxonomy"





Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Major Update: The WAND Finance and Investment Taxonomy

We have recently updated, and expanded, our WAND Finance and Investment Taxonomy.  

There are the incremental updates that you would expect to find along with some rather large additions to complete the area of Investment Banking.

We have included Investment Banking Services and terms relating to Front Office, Middle Office and Back Office Services.  We have also added a section of Financial Instrument Design Features as well as a section of Finance and Investment Documents.

We've also add processes that go into Equities and Sales Trading, IPOs, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Underwriting that are also important to Finance and Investment Firms.

The areas of Financial Intermediaries, Markets and Exchanges, Asset Valuation Methods, Benchmark Interest Rates, and Asset Types have all been updated.

This taxonomy now has 2,428 terms and 1,563 synonyms

You'll still find Financial Crimes in this taxonomy along with Regulations and Regulating Bodies.  We have added a new Securities Holding and Clearing Organizations section.



The WAND Finance and Investment Taxonomy can be customized to include specific terms to meet the needs of any Investment Firm.

As with all WAND Taxonomies, the WAND Finance and Investment Taxonomy is available by itself or as part of the WAND Taxonomy Library Portal.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

How to import a WAND Taxonomy into conceptClassifier

Concept Searching is a provider of a taxonomy management and automatic tagging solution called conceptClassifier.  

Since conceptClassifier tags documents based upon a taxonomy, WAND Taxonomies provide a great starting point to do tagging in conceptClassifier.  Basically, WAND Taxonomies jump-start the development of your taxonomy, and conceptClassifier jump-starts tagging your documents.

After you've read this post, if you want to learn more about how to use WAND Taxonomies and conceptClassifier together, please attend our joint webinar called Reduce your taxonomy deployment time from months to weeks on March 15.


In today's post, we want to show how easy it is for WAND Taxonomies to be imported into conceptClassifier.   We'll walk through the process with screenshots. In this example, we'll be importing the WAND HR Taxonomy into the SharePoint Term Store via conceptTermStoreManager.

In figure 1, we start in conceptTermStoreManager and click on the Import button in the lower right.

Figure 1


















Now, in figure 2, you will browse to the XML file for the WAND HR Taxonomy that has been downloaded from the WAND Taxonomy Library Portal.  If you are using conceptClassifier, the taxonomies you download from the portal will be specifically formatted to import directly in.  On this screen, you can choose to import to a SharePoint site, in which case you need to provide the credentials, or you can import to a conceptSearing Query Server to be used independently from SharePoint.

Figure 2
Now, in figure 3, you will choose where in the Term Store to import the WAND Taxonomy.  Taxonomies imported to SharePoint this way will reside in the term store and rules for classification/tagging will be stored as term store custom properties.  So, it's a very clean, native integration between conceptClassifier and SharePoint.

Figure 3
in Figure 4 and 5, we can see that the WAND Taxonomy is now being imported.
Figure 4

Figure 5




Finally, in Figure 6, the WAND HR Taxonomy is now in the SharePoint Term Store.  The taxonomy also appears in the conceptClassifier Taxonomy Manager, shown in Figure 7.  You can see that content has already been classified to the WAND Taxonomy in conceptClassifier and we can now begin to refine the classification clues and edit the taxonomy based on this content.




Figure 6

Figure 7