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The Role of Text Analytics in Managing of Intangible Assets and
the Emergence of Service Science

Dr. Wlodek Zadrozny
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center


Friday, April 8, 11:00am

Location: EB1234


The world economy is increasingly driven by services, and the performance of companies depends on such intangibles as customer good will, brand value, employee quality and robustness of supply chain. As the share of services supported by information technology (IT) is growing, business problems are posed as IT questions: How can I improve effectiveness of my communication with customers and reduce cost at the same time? Do internet discussions of my products/services pose a threat to my brand? How can my employees find information and expertise when they need it? How do I organize my supply chain and leverage information flowing in my computer systems? As an executive, how do I manage all these intangibles? Finally, as an investor, how do I evaluate companies when 80% of the stock market value is in intangibles?

We will present two somewhat surprising observations about intangibles: the number of intangible attributes of value is relatively small (<100), and that 80% of all intangibles can be analyzed using the new technologies of text mining, data mining and information integration. The first statement is supported by reviewing available studies of intangibles. The second statement is based on a review of implemented commercial and R&D technologies, and in particular of text analytics. We will show that text analytics begun to emerge as a credible technology at the end of 1990s, and is maturing very rapidly. Recently introduced IBM Unstructured Information Management Architecture will likely accelerate the maturation process.

We will conclude the presentation with broader point: service science is emerging as a field to study problems of capturing business value through technology and organizational change. Thus our study of intangibles is one of several examples of research that arguably belongs to this new field. We will give a few other informative examples of such work, for instance social network analysis and innovation management.


Wlodek Zadrozny has been with IBM Research for 19 years. His experience includes R&D management, researching text analysis, product development and technical planning and strategy. Currently, Wlodek is a Technologist at the On Demand Innovation Services -- a new IBM initiative to bring Research to business transformation and consulting. He has also been consulting in the area of text analytics and search. His research interests focus on business impact of technologies, and in particular on text and data analytics.

Previously Wlodek coordinated the development and transfer of search and text processing technologies between Research and IBM Software Group, in particular of the Omnifind search engine and UIMA, Unstructured Information Management Architecture. Earlier, as Manager of Conversational Machines, he led the development systems using speech and natural language for IBM Personal Systems Group, two large US banks and a large Canadian bank.

Wlodek Zadrozny received a Ph.D. in Mathematics, with highest distinction, from Polish Academy of Science. He's also the recipient of A. von Humboldt and H.B.Curry fellowships. He is an author of about 20 patents, including one of IBM top five patents in 2001. Wlodek has published over 50 refereed publications, and participated in editorial boards and program committees. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, member of ACM, AAAI, and ACL, as well as a founder of the first Professional Interest Community (PIC) at IBM Research, and more recently of the Services Computing PIC.