Random Thoughts

Microsoft, BI and Search

It’s inevitable, when you get a whole bunch of new functionality as we have with SQL2005, that you start thinking of the new types of applications that become possible. One of the things I’ve been thinking about for a while is how you could take the results of an RSS feed or a search engine search, do text mining on the results and build a cube to analyse what comes back. Quite an interesting idea, I think, and I know plenty of other people have been thinking along the same lines too, eg
And it’s not just in the Microsoft world that these ideas are cropping up. For example, only today I saw a reference to a (non-Microsoft) OLAP solution which built cubes from the results of text mining:
Anyway, on a different note, one of the fun things about blogging is all the rumours and snippets of information about new solutions coming soon, most of which I’m not really at liberty to discuss (not that I know much anyway). You get to put these snippets, rumours and other stuff you read on the web and put them together in a 1+1=3 operation… Here, for example, is a link that Jon-who-sits-next-to-me just sent which he saw on Slashdot:
How can Microsoft beat Google in the search game? There are some interesting hints on the second page of this article, for example:

He said that Microsoft’s goal — but not its initial offering — would go beyond finding URLs and instead focus in on the specific information sought by Internet users.

"Generally these days what you get back is URLs, and based upon research 50 percent of the time you do a search you don’t get the URL you’re looking for," he said.

Holloway said that the promise of Microsoft’s search capability is to dig down.

For example, he said, potential home-buyers might find a group of houses in the price range and with the precise amenities they are seeking.

Or a surfer might find a restaurant with the kind of menu a diner wants in a particular geographic area.

Hmm, is it me or is there a potential BI angle here? Dig down == drill down, perhaps? Slice, dice and analyse your resultset rather than just get a flat list of links? I wonder… 
UPDATE: Jon, bless his heart, has come up with another interesting link on this topic:
Don’t you just love wild speculation? The whole Origami thing is so last week… 
UPDATE#2: Now this could just be me reading way too much into something, but here’s another relevant link:
There’s a coincidence here that’s too good to be true…

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