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Qualitative data analysis and the future of intelligence

Qualitative data analysis intrigues me. Mining the internet and the deepnet for intelligence on critical issues is the holy grail of competitive intelligence, and other forms of intelligence analysis. Traditionally, an intelligence analyst (humint) is required for serious research. Semantic web architecture appears to be developing methods to unify information, enabling advanced analytical concepts along with social networking and distributed computing to do the heavy lifting for us (humans). Wow, we've created a web-corpus containing records of everything known (and unknown) - and just need a little help from AI and linguistics to make something unpredictable happen.

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Comment by William J McKibbin on August 15, 2009 at 6:15am
Likewise, I am intrigued by the prospects of deeper mining of the the Web. With all the activity taking place on the Web globally, I can't help but think that some "revolutionary" methdology for mining the Web has still to be discovered/invented, perhaps in my lifetime.
Comment by Susan Smith on November 26, 2008 at 8:39am
Hi Eric - it is fascinating - which is what made me remark on your post. When I write a white paper I will be sure to pass it on.
Comment by Eric on November 26, 2008 at 6:26am
Wow - OK, you've applied some interesting, forward thinking concepts and technologies towards a complicated, pervasive problem. I am now more interested the 'how', and wonder if you would provide a white paper on your solution.

(I'll bet it is a lot of fun to deploy a solution of this type...)

Comment by Susan Smith on November 25, 2008 at 1:54pm
No secrets here. The commercial application, iSwarmGRC™ was publicly launched in North America in June 2008. GRC stands for Governance, Risk and Compliance Management and is a category of software, like ERP.

The problems generally lie in meeting compliance. If they fail to meet compliance, accountable parties may face jail-time, fines or worse. More granular problems exists like the ambiguity of the regulations, non-prescriptive methods for meeting compliance, limited resources with the skill and experience required, expected to worsen as baby-boomers retire and those are just a few.

The more practical problems for organizations needing to meet compliance to survive are many, but to narrow it down to one example, I would say - how to achieve adequate coverage to neutralize a documented risk. Which leads to a follow-up question, how does one quantify how much coverage exists or is needed? If answers exist for both questions, the end-solution must also ensure that it does not add further burden to the current time, effort and costs. This describes one of the problems we have solved with iSwarmGRC.

Also, consider that companies are asking this question during a time when (a) the financial crisis’ one-two punch will include increased regulations, (b) resources are being cut-back, and (c) regulatory compliance is not viewed as a strategic advantage but a burden.

My blog “Analyzing the Question - How Covered Are We?” describes our approach. My company, iSwarm, can be explored at
Comment by Peter Grimbeek on November 25, 2008 at 4:23am
I would also be interested in a bit more detail, if that's OK?
Comment by Eric on November 25, 2008 at 3:33am
Susan, Peter -
Thank you both for investing your time. Susan, do you use commercial applications to build your models ? (If I am not prying, what kind of corporate organization problems are you modeling ?)

Comment by Susan Smith on November 24, 2008 at 3:23pm
Hi Peter: The best way to describe my model building activities would be patterning corporate organization problems and then mapping key elements into algorithms to provide decision-making support.
Comment by Peter Grimbeek on November 22, 2008 at 6:36am
Thanks for the instant feedback on social swarm intelligence.
The notion of cool-farming seems very Bruce Sterling (cf. Distraction).
Black swans are certainly very epistemological.
Comment by Eric on November 22, 2008 at 3:58am
MIT has an interesting repository pertaining to coolfarming - just imagine the fantastic possibilities!

(coolfarming = coolhunting content generation : a sandbox for experiments which go beyond simply proving the concept. a proper test would be to identify, predict and then chart and follow the course of a coolfarm 'crop' - kind of like planting and harvesting social swarm intelligence.)

I wonder if Collaborative Innovation Networks could evolve/combine into the concept of intelligent collaboration, further accelerating how collective intelligence will dramatically redefine the way we work together.

And then, could we use these tools to hunt for black swans ?
(...because the future threat in the era of knowledge worker's (and everyone is a knowledge worker) is epistemic arrogance)
Comment by Peter Grimbeek on November 21, 2008 at 8:29pm
Thank you for you kind comment.
Could you add a bit more information about your model building activities?

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