Natural Language Processing (NLP) Utility: A tool designed for line of business users to easily manage annotations
The jStart team, working with clients, has created a new utility to simplify the creation and management of simple text analytics annotations--all with a web-based interface.
One of the challenges of text analytics is the fact that creating the models and annotations used to parse the text in an intelligent way can be time consuming, can require a high level of expertise, and may require specialized applications. In working with our clients, the real power of text analytics is when those with domain knowledge have the power to explore the data in a way which minimizes effort, but maximizes potential return.
What you can do with the NLP Utility
In working with clients, jStart noticed that there is a set of business users that desired a simple tool to create simple annotations, preferably with a web-based interface so they would not have to learn a new application. The requirements? A system that would be straight-forward enough to allow line-of-business users to be able to easily create the rules used to analyze the data, an ability to simply import dictionaries for use in the analysis, and a simple way to test the new rules before deploying them to the production environment. And that is, in essence, what the NLP Utility does. While the tool does not allow for the construction of complex text analytics models directly, it does provide simple text modeling capabilities that many business users would access most often.
Take for instance, a scenario in which a group of analysts in a biotech firm needs to be able to create a set of rules to parse data from medical databases in order to identify possible correlations between specific enzymes, and potential effects of those enzymes on a particular drug interaction. Work by the firm's text analytics team has already created a base model, with a number of annotations. But what the team hasn't been able to do (or anticipate) are the various ways that the analysts may want to "string together" rules in order to discover subtle patterns within the data. Using the NLP utility, the line of business analysts can easily create these rules (even nesting rules within rules), apply the appropriate dictionaries, and even run the new rule set against a known set of test data (to validate the veracity of the results). Once satisfied that the rule functions as envisioned, the analyst can then easily upload the rule set to their production environment.
an overview of the tool
A tool based on real client needs
In many ways, the NLP Utility represents one of the strengths of the jStart team: identifying a market need that isn't being addressed by existing technology through real-world client engagements, using feedback from those clients as well as the team's experiences to build a solution for that need, then testing that application with our clients. In fact, this is exactly how the NLP Utility was created, using our experiences and feedback from a number of our clients, including NC State University. By doing this, the team assures that the technology meets the requirements of our clients--and provides immediate, tangible benefits. This process is something the jStart team has made as an integral part of how the team functions...and is one of the key capabilities of that jStart contributes back to the IBM Emerging Technologies team.
The Business Bottom Line
The NLP Utility was designed to give line of business users the ability to easily construct rules and annotations to analyze structured and unstructured data, all without having to download and install additional software. To do this, the team developed a web-based application that allows LoBs to create and manage simple rules, test those rules, and deploy them. If you're interested in how the NLP Utility can be leveraged by your organization, feel free to contact us today.
Resources and Links
Briefing. This briefing includes detailed information on how you can get started with the tool, including actual scenarios for use, and a hands-on tutorial on leveraging the tool. Schedule a Briefing.