Semantics – for data and for documents

No doubt about it – linked data seems to be where it ia and will be for some time.  CEOs traditionally have one eye on the external and one eye on the internal – relying on COOs, CFOs etc to drive the inside efficiently while they figure out the positioning, the alliances, the competitive advantage.  Most of the CIO work has been focused on providing the systems to enable the COO, CFO, etc run the organisation efficiently.

The CEO needs linked data.  She needs to be able to compare and contrast using external data, preferably in conjunction with internal data.  That’s all about linked data – in spite of the data being held in completely different structures. (Enter semantics, tags, RDF, etc).

Have spent a lot of time in the last 18 months working with companies figuring out their document management strategies for the first time – down to detailed taxonomies.  Now, in the context of linked data and semantic web am looking at ontologies.  Without doubt thinking through the ontology questions forces people to figure out processes, relationships and different types of structures.  Seems to me now that the linked data and the document management imperatives are not separate – rather they require a more holistic approach to the analysis and design.

I would expect linked data, content management, mashups, collaboration – all to become part of the same thinking and solutions.  Indeed wikis and blogs are part of this – as they challenge the traditional role of wordprocessing type documents – through providing greater interactivity/ collaboration.  Even developments such as wiki enabled web based training soltions (cf DERI and pergamon) are further examples of this merging of tools, environment and solutions.

So you may come at this from a collaboration and document management perspective or from a BI and data useability/ refereneabililty perspective.  But much of the thinking and problem solving are common, interlinked and overlap.

Author: Barry OGorman

Barry O'Gorman is an independent business and IT consultant, based in Dublin, Ireland.

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