Semantic web and semantic technologies refer standards and technologies that will allow the automated collection and analysis of data in different formats. Semantic technologies addresses the problem that the amount of data has exploded on the web far beyond the capacity of humans to categorize and analyze of this mass of data. As more and more data is defined in semantic terms, automated tools can access, extract, and categorize it for new methods of understanding customers, competitors, and the environment in which we operate.
Companies are just beginning to use semantic technologies to gain competitive advantage. Christine Conners, one of the panelists from the Sept 17, 2009 Boston Product Marketing Association panel discussion, “Mining the Web for Customer Insights using Semantic Technologies,” mentioned that a large media firm in the UK used semantic technologies to gather and send out instant updates on advertising slot availability as a service to its clients. Conners, a principal in TriviumRLG LLC (triviumrlg.com), is an expert in the use of semantic technologies to maximize return on information assets
The other panelists were Mike Spataro, SVP, Client Strategy & Channel Partners, Visible Technologies, which works with Fortune 500 companies and others to monitor customer comments on social media to listen, learn, engage, and protect (www.visibletechnologies.com) and Sean Martin, President & CTO, Cambridge Semantics Inc. which offers a shrink wrapped solution based on semantic technology to collect and use data in multiple formats (www.cambridgesemantics.com)
The panel was moderated by John Cass, Author, "Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging"
Companies are using semantic technologies to both gain a competitive edge and to monitor competitors. According to Mike Spataro, firms use the same technologies to watch rivals as they do to keep tabs on customers, but do use different logic for competitive monitoring.
All the panelists agreed that semantic technologies have been touted for years as the next big thing, but now the standards and tools are really ready for widespread adoption. Semantic technologies had been individually developed which is costly and time-consuming. The growth of standards is lowering costs and implementation times. Is your organization using semantic technology to monitor customers or competitors? If not, be an early adopter and gain a competitive advantage with semantic technologies.