Jonathan Gordon-Till Esmerk Pro@ctiv – Highlighting news that’s hot
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Tuesday, 25th August 2009 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added

By Jonathan Gordon-Till


How often is it remarked that a key challenge for today's busy decision-maker is to find a way of keeping abreast of important issues whilst not being distracted by all the noise and clutter of 'interesting', 'nice-to-know', or downright irrelevant news content? A recent review of Esmerk’s Pro@ctiv service found that far from overwhelming clients with irrelevant or duplicated news stories, the vendor's analysts succeed in delivering what the client really needs to know. Many news information services such as Factiva or LexisNexis provide access to an impressive archive of searchable full-text news articles in dozens of languages covering thousands of sources. Whilst this is great for researching specific events, or for monitoring current affairs in great detail, it puts the burden of identifying key content down to the user. On the other hand, Esmerk's 150 news analysts work with clients to understand business information needs, then monitor a range of news resources from across the globe. This range is considerably less than that covered by the big vendors mentioned above, but the difference with Esmerk is that the analysts themselves read through all the news reports and distil out only the key information which is presented as a set of daily abstracts. In other words, they differentiate themselves from the 'big vendors' by not relying on automated metatagging or search routines. Can this service really take the place of in-house search expertise? Not really – after all, the best people to know what's hot and what needs monitoring are the subject matter experts within an organisation. Pro@ctiv certainly wouldn't replace in-house experts' skills, but it does a reasonable job at highlighting news that’s important. Large businesses are likely to continue to need to use the 'big vendors' for some time to come. VIP Report: Product Review of Esmerk Pro@ctive, by Jonathan Gordon-Till is now available for purchase: Purchase VIP Magazine Issue No. 69, August 2009, and receive the full VIP Report: Product Review of Esmerk Pro@ctive as part of your purchase: (Also included in this issue: VIP Report: Product Review of Skyminder )

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