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Northern Light: Using Machine Learning to Change the Face of Competitive Intelligence

An Intellyx Brain Candy Brief

As soon as there were two companies doing business in the same market, there was a need for competitive intelligence. While it would seem that the Internet would make gathering this intelligence easier — and it has, in some respects — the sheer volume of information now available has actually made the job significantly harder.

In addition, the global nature of nearly every market, also means that there is no going back. Organizations must find a way to sort through the mountains of information to find competitive intelligence that will make a difference to their business.

Market intelligence firm Northern Light has been helping enterprise organizations solve this problem for years. SinglePoint, their intelligence platform, aggregates proprietary research data, news sources, government databases and social media to enable organizations to find the competitive information they need. While their aggregation and search capabilities were a giant step forward, it is their latest foray into using machine learning that may change the face of competitive intelligence.

Using unsupervised learning the platform automatically summarizes documents (instead of merely excerpting them), enables users to find related information with high precision and can even produce fully automated research reports, which analyzes all documents in a topic area and provides attributed summaries. The technology appears deceivingly simple and similar to other approaches, but the richness and accuracy of their machine learning-powered results may change how organizations look at competitive intelligence.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. To be considered for a Brain Candy article, email us at

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More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).