Feeds

DataLens demystifies complex matching

A solution that's not statistically challenged

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Comment I have long espoused the cause of semantic approaches in a variety of areas: I think that natural language processing works better in search engines, and I think that LAS (which has just been acquired by IBM) offers just about the best name matching on the market, thanks to its semantic and linguistic basis as opposed to the statistical approach that is common among data quality vendors.

As it happens, I have recently uncovered another supplier in the data quality space that espouses the cause of semantics as opposed to statistics, which is Silver Creek Systems. However, in this case, the company is focused on product matching rather than name matching.

Product matching is an order of magnitude more complex than conventional name and/or address matching. For example, suppose you sell electrical resistors. Now, resistors have a variety of attributes: resistance, power, tolerance, general description, manufacturer, UNSPCS and FSC industry codes, and so on. Now, you get these product details in from your suppliers: how do you build a consistent catalogue when you bear in mind that these details may come in any order, that you have numeric values mixed in with letters, and that you may have electrical symbols (Ω instead of ohms, for example)?

Traditional approaches to this sort of matching use a statistical methodology: that is, you look for patterns within the data. The problem is that with product and similarly complex data derived from diverse sources, the data is all intermingled and it is difficult to extract relevant patterns. While there are some relatively simple product-based environments in which traditional methods can work well, in more complex situations involving such things as electrical components, electronic consumer goods (for example, digital cameras), office supplies, computer ancillaries and cables, even land title documents, success rates are seldom above 50 per cent.

The problem with 50 per cent is that it isn't adequate: there is so much manual intervention required to do the other half of the matching that it is more cost effective to do the whole thing by hand. While some manual intervention can be tolerated, it can't be at this level and you need a solution such as Silver Creek Systems’, where that degree of manual work is at a more reasonable level though, having said that, I do not know of any other vendor apart from Silver Creek Systems that can offer this sort of capability.

Silver Creek Systems’ product is called DataLens and it includes facilities to support semantically-based content profiling (that is, classifying records into content groups), standardisation (enforcing standards and normalising content), attribute identification, classification (aggregating data into taxonomies and schemas), and internationalisation (so you can have Spanish, Russian and other versions of the catalogue). The software can also operate in either real-time or batch mode, as appropriate.

I am not going to mince my words about DataLens: if you have a complex matching problem that goes beyond conventional name and address matching (not necessarily for products) then you must talk to Silver Creek Systems. To misquote a well-known beer advertisement: DataLens can get to parts of your matching problem that other data quality solutions cannot reach.

Copyright © 2006, IT-Analysis.com

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.