KMWorld 2012 Promise and Reality award winners and finalists

This article appears in the issue November/December 2012, [Vol 21, Issue 10]
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Throughout each year, KMWorld is introduced to the best and brightest of the suppliers and practitioners in the trade. We conduct dozens of interviews, hundreds of briefings and review probably thousands of press releases and e-mails.

Then ... we have to pick the best. Each year the magazine's judging panel chooses its "KM Promise and Reality" award winners from among many nominations, and from the judges' own market knowledge.

The recipients of these awards come from each side of the "value" continuum. On one side is the inventive, technological spark that frequently ignites new and long-lasting trends, marking our industry as central to the advancement of information management thinking and action.

On the other side is the pragmatic, practical application of that "innovative spark" by a practitioner that recognizes the value in thoughtfully and creatively deployed technology tools and sound business practices.

The KM Promise Award goes to a vendor that has risen above the noise enough to make our editors take special notice. The KM Reality award goes to an organization that has applied KM practices and technologies in a unique and special way.

KM PROMISE AWARD

Many companies promise that their technology is the best knowledge management solution. One of the greatest challenges for organizations purchasing these technologies is to determine which of the companies will deliver on that promise. This award is given to the organization that is delivering the promise to its customers by providing innovative technology solutions for implementing and integrating knowledge management practices into their business processes. The award-winning organization demonstrates how it goes beyond simply delivering technology to working with clients to ensure that both the technology and knowledge processes are embedded into the work processes. In other words, it helps organizations realize positive business results.

KMWorld Promise Award Winner

Cambridge Semantics

Cambridge Semantics is the developer of the Anzo software open platform that leverages Semantic Web technologies to allow customers to design, build, deploy and evolve information-driven applications that offer solutions to specific business problems.

All information in Anzo solutions is described with ontologies—semantic models that define the concepts and relationships within the data using the same vocabulary and language that subject matter experts use. The richly expressive ontologies allow users to automatically discover new relationships,  and classify and analyze data in meaningful ways.

Unlike traditional KM models, Anzo's semantic models actively guide the user in collecting and integrating new data, creating new visualizations and analytics, and setting up data-driven alerts and workflows. Anzo solutions can draw on any data, regardless of source location or format. The underlying Semantic Web layer provides a model that can expand to accommodate and integrate new data as it arrives. Unlike KM solutions based on search technologies, Anzo links structured enterprise data sources; unlike KM solutions based on business intelligence technologies (OLAP,  data warehouses and others), Anzo links unstructured data from e-mails, documents and Web pages.

The Anzo Server is a semantic middleware platform that links information from disparate sources including: structured sources, such as databases or enterprise applications; semi-structured sources, such as spreadsheets; and unstructured sources, such as e-mail, documents or Web pages. The Anzo Server also provides a variety of services to drive user applications. Those services include data lineage/provenance; rules and reasoning; workflow; data authorization; data read, write and query (including distributed query); ETL and Web Services. The Anzo Server implements all of the core W3C Semantic Web technology standards, including RDF, OWL and SPARQL.

Anzo for Excel plugs into Microsoft Excel and provides two-way interaction between spreadsheet data and any other data connected to the Anzo Server. Users can link any spreadsheet data to any other data, and they can also bring any data connected to Anzo back into a spreadsheet for further reporting and analysis. Business analysts and other Excel users can continue to use the spreadsheet program while reaping the benefits of rich knowledge models, connectivity with other information sources and data governance and quality.

Anzo Unstructured allows users to set up pipelines to crawl and analyze sources of unstructured text, such as documents, Web pages, RSS feeds, social media or e-mail. The pipelines can combine text analytics tools to extract entities, events and relationships from the unstructured sources. That content is then semantically processed (e.g., summarized, categorized or analyzed for sentiment) and then linked to other structured data connected to Anzo. Users can configure new pipelines in minutes via a Web user interface with no coding or configuration file editing.

Anzo Connect gives users a visual tool to connect to relational databases, map data from the database to ontologies, and schedule ETL jobs to continually run and link the database data to other data connected to Anzo.

Anzo on the Web is a Web dashboard and faceted browser that allows users to create their own visualizations and analytics on top of all of the data linked to Anzo. Users also utilize Anzo on the Web to create forms to collect and update data, to edit data in bulk, and for approval and curation processes.

Anzo includes a lightweight, easy-to-use ontology editor embedded within Excel. That allows business analysts and Excel "power users" to create and extend ontologies as needed to accommodate new types of data. Anzo can also automatically generate ontologies from relational databases spreadsheets and unstructured data sources.

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