When it comes to data classification and search, IBM has adopted a "grow your own" stance via Java-based development tools called the Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA). But a project in the Cape Breton region of Nova Scotia could yield something more generally useable.
IBM is working with a local company called ADM Solutions (no Website), Cape Breton University, and the Cape Breton Regional Police Services, all of Sydney, Nova Scotia, to create a system that stores, classifies, and searches police crime data.
Though still in the pilot stage, the system, which will be the first of its kind in Canada, was demonstrated at the Canadian Chief of Police Conference in St. John's, Newfoundland, late last month, and apparently caused a stir, with a range of police departments considering engaging IBM to mimic the system for them. IBM spokesman Steven Tomasco says the results of the project, once they are analyzed later this year, could wind up in a commercialized package.
"At this point, it really looks excellent, even though there are still areas to be completed," says Myles Burke, a Cape Breton police inspector.
Like many outfits, Cape Breton's police force has done most of its data classification, analysis, and searching manually. And while lots of products are available to help classify unstructured data, such as those from Abrevity, Arkivio, Kazeon, Index Engines, Njini, Scentric, and StoredIQ, organizations like this police force just aren't equipped to evaluate and implement them. What's more, bigger players like IBM and EMC are eyeing the potential for products tailored to specific vertical applications. (See De-Classifying Data Classification.)