BI Principles for Another Kind of Intelligence

Traditional business intelligence (BI) and analytics applications aim to support the decision-making process of a company. By analyzing large amounts of data, most BI applications provide the means for making business-oriented decisions. This includes studying the data from the perspective of improving the business and generating more business.

Most intelligence applications follow the same principle of collecting and organizing data, to gain an understanding of the available information. But while traditional BI tools work this information for the purposes of achieving better business performance and operation, similar technology can be applied to an organization’s data for the more immediate purpose of deriving more and better data.

Data Intelligence

These tools use data analysis techniques to enable knowledge gathering, as well as to perform important tasks such as:

  • detecting data correlations

  • detecting patterns and/or key data elements

  • detecting relevant facts

  • creating knowledge maps

  • data indexing

These tasks can be applied to achieve a variety of goals, including:

  • fraud and criminal investigation

  • support research and development

  • knowledge management

By providing applications that use new algorithms and techniques for advanced data analysis, along with powerful data visualization capabilities, vendors of this type of application are providing a unique set of tools to occupy functionality gaps that traditional BI applications and other enterprise software products do not address. Such is the case with companies like Cirilab and Xanalys.


Cirilab, a company based in Ontario (Canada), offers a number of software applications designed to perform search retrieval and categorization of data. Its goal is to provide solutions that are able to help users to handle large amounts of data, mostly unstructured, taken from several different sources (text, PDF, Word documents, etc.) and help them to publish, mine, and interpret the data to gain knowledge and understanding from it.

By applying Cirilab’s proprietary algorithm and technologies, users can perform search operations to provide navigable “Knowledge Views” of content to identify relations and patterns within the content. Cirilab offers products for individual consumers:

  • Cirilab Speed Read—a rapid read application that creates a navigable view of any document, identifying its most important themes

  • Cirilab Knowledge Map—a knowledge map creator to review collections of information

Cirilab also offers products for enterprises:

  • Cirilab Enterprise Knowledge Generation Solutions—an enterprise knowledge generator for organizations that enables users to work with unstructured data

  • Cirilab Web Ready Publishing—an automatic Web-ready publishing content generator to enable users to publish unstructured content that is Web-accessible

Although Cirilab focuses on industries such as publishing, pharma, legal, and security, the applications could be beneficial for any organization that needs to search, identify, and gain knowledge from a variety of unstructured sources.


Xanalys, based in Chesire (UK), calls itself an investigation software company. Xanalys provides a set of applications for collecting investigative knowledge from unstructured and multimedia documents. With its proprietary methodology, Xanalys provides applications to automatically consolidate information coming from disparate repositories and generate a single data model, in order to perform search and extraction of content as well as a correlation analysis of unstructured data.

Xanalys focuses on helping users address and solve investigative problems, such as fraud analysis, criminal investigations, and brand protection. Xanalys products can perform analysis of an extensive amount of unstructured data sources, and provide specific functionality for managing an investigation.

Xanalys offers three main products:

  • PowerCase—the complete suite for conducting investigations

  • Link Explorer—a desktop-based application for data consolidation, exploration, and modeling

  • XIM—an incident management product

Industries such as banking and finance, government, and law enforcement stand to gain the most from these offerings, but the technology has applications to other industries as well.


Intelligence and analytics techniques traditionally have focused on supporting direct business revenue–oriented tasks. Yet these same techniques are increasingly being applied to providing analytics and knowledge management to other important areas of an organization—research, legal, and even social media analysis initiatives.

Some organizations, maybe yours, might need a fresh approach to an old problem. Some of these applications might provide a new option for applying analytics and intelligence techniques to problems traditional BI solutions can’t solve satisfactorily.

Are you using these types of applications? Do you provide an application like this?
comments powered by Disqus