The added value of utilizing external unstructured data and using it for AI4GOOD

The advent of the Information Age has brought about many advantages as well as challenges to today’s organizations. The ease of accessing information about anything from anywhere in the world has contributed to new ways of thinking, communicating, producing and working. Accordingly, the business models have been changing in order to adapt to what the evolving circumstances and emergent technologies are offering. As we speak, the dynamic nature of the data landscape is shaping our future.

Although there is a lot to gain from external unstructured data, tapping into the unique value that an organization seeks to gain is not straightforward. This is due to the complexity of mining, collecting and storing externally generated data.

When we consider the data on the World Wide Web as a source of external unstructured data, the challenge can be formalized as searching, identifying and retrieving what is relevant in a reliable and timely manner. Given the sheer expansion of unstructured data (of which textual data is of our interest), we as VIQTOR DAVIS feel strongly about one of the most legitimate claims of the last decade: “NLP is the future!”.

NLP is an abbreviation for Natural Language Processing, which is “a sub-field of linguistics, computer science, information engineering, and artificial intelligence concerned with the interactions between computers and human languages”(1).

At VIQTOR DAVIS, we use NLP techniques to design data-driven solutions that empower management regarding business intelligence and increase operational efficiency in decision-making support. A recent trend to automatically scan the web to draw out insights about a particular topic has led to game-changing applications, also referred to as monitoring (or radar) applications. Such applications can scan millions of news articles online and provide structured insights distilled from various angles and sources.

How can external data in a radar application be used for AI4GOOD?

In today’s capital markets where investors seek to do good or avoid harm alongside financial returns, radar applications are in high demand. According to the IFC (International Finance Corporation), “investors increasingly recognize the need to follow international norms and principles designed to address Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks.”(2) Within the scope of ESG efforts, VIQTOR DAVIS developed Market Radar that addresses the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are targets for global development set to be achieved by 2030. Some of the features of Market Radar are company-centered tracking, SDG-centered monitoring, relevance sorting on articles of interest, smart dictionary to increase content coverage and configurable email alerts.

As a consequence of rapidly changing data landscape, investors turn to public sources to assess the ESG/SDG status of companies and markets as no reporting standards are currently in place. Obtaining insights from unstructured data that match (and preferably exceed) business needs on scope, relevance, quality and timeliness requires intelligent methods. By employing industry-compatible tools and techniques within our solution, we aim to provide you with the full picture on your topic of interest, which will assist you not only in reaping the benefits of external unstructured data but also in making sustainable, responsible and informed business decisions.

For further technical details on our approach and the methods we use, you might want to check out this article on Medium (3). For any queries and how we can help you with your specific topic of interest, please feel free to reach out to us by mail.

1. Wikipedia
2. What is impact investing? by IFC [Accessed on 21 October 2019]
3. What’s in the radar? View on Medium [Accessed on 21 October 2019]

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