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article imageSYMAN search makes all search methods obsolete? It just might Special

By Paul Wallis     Jun 12, 2013 in Technology
Sydney - Imagine a search which is 100% relevant, accurate, and can extract defined data about the subject. SYMAN produces a virtual shopping list of information. I did a web conference and an interview with Identified, SYMAN’s proud but modest parents.
This search can be tailored to any criteria. I was already blown away by SYMAN’s first epic achievement, Identified Recruit, cleaning and making sense of data from Facebook, that gigantic mess of data, to find 50 registered nurses in Miami. I used to write for the healthcare sector in the U.S. on an employment site called Nursing, and I’d actually tried to assess Monster’s job finding capabilities for specific types of nursing jobs.
On Monster, it was extremely difficult to get relevant results. On Facebook, it should have been impossible. That gave birth to my first article on SYMAN. I also sent a copy of the article to Identified, and they were kind enough to arrange for an interview.
SYMAN background
SYMAN is an acronym for Systematic Mass Normalization. That may be the most understated acronym of all time.
As a commercial SEO writer and as someone who works with a lot of marketing and social media people, the potentials of SYMAN were nothing less than breathtaking. As a journalist, the idea of not messing around with research searches was also highly appealing.
Let’s start with the basics of SYMAN:
 SYMAN filters out “dirty data”, the information mess that search engines have to wade through that produces a lot of the non-results you usually see in searches. The filters are obviously extremely efficient, far more so than any conventional search.
 SYMAN uses a series of search criteria and search terms to identify targets. This is a lengthy list of carefully targeted terms, homonyms, abbreviations, and jargon, for want of a better description.
 The search result is structured, not just “term + whatever”, and subject specific. You wind up with a profile matched to specific criteria, not just a search.
For a nurse, for example as searched by Identified's Recruit software:
Name: Alpha Beta Gamma
Location: Miami
Experience: X years
Education: Stanford
Note: You can see a video, request a demo and download Identified’s Definitive Guide to Facebook Recruiting on the Recruit page, too. (If you’ve ever had anything at all to do with the employment market, you’ll appreciate that the title is also readable as “Definitive Guide to an Impossible, Infuriatingly Obtuse Recruiting Environment”. This is a guide that didn’t even exist beyond theory.)
You can also search any of the above criteria and refine the search further, then save your various searches on a list on the screen. Efficient? Extremely. SYMAN is capable of making existing search technology obsolete. It’s already looking like it has.
Identified have had the good practical sense to ensure that SYMAN can run on ISO standard existing search platforms. SYMAN can obviously go anywhere. The example I was shown was a standard version of a recruiter’s dream search screen, complete with pictures.
… And this was sourced from Facebook! I can tell you from personal experience that SYMAN makes other searches look like quaint old jokes. According to Identified, you can add any additional qualifiers you want to your search, and SYMAN will find them. Try doing that with conventional searches. You could take years.
SYMAN hits the market
I was also very interested in SYMAN’s development path. I can see a lot of back end applications for SEO, Big Data, business intelligence, advertising, and marketing to start with. SYMAN can provide extremely valuable data in these fields. The huge advance here is applying search context, which acts as a very effective search quality controller and defining element in SYMAN search results. If that sounds a bit new, it is. It’s what’s entirely missing from search capabilities at the moment.
 It’d be a blessing to SEO, making scoping and analysis a lot easier, and more importantly, far more accurate.
 For advertising, it’d turn Google AdWords and AdSense into far more consumer friendly, and far more commercially effective, operations.
 For marketing, it has the ability to turn market research into a truly scientific thing. It can also do real time analysis, a near-impossibility at the moment, even with good reporting systems.
 For Big Data, SYMAN is the friend this thankless area of information management has never had, the addition to analytical software that’s missing.
 For business intelligence, it could drastically improve information management, above all relevancies, and information checking. “Context” equates to “currency” in this environment.
One of the reasons this article exists is to make the market aware of SYMAN’s huge potential. I mentioned these things to Identified’s Vice President of Product, Srini Vishnubhatta, during our interview, and he made the very apt comment that SYMAN is still a baby, and needs to make “baby steps”.
The developmental curve is huge, but the rewards for the world are likely to be spectacular. SYMAN is the next evolutionary step for searches, and it’s a big step forward into much better search capabilities.
The interview
Identified were also kind enough to answer a few of my slightly breathless questions:
Paul Wallis: SYMAN allows a very flexible approach to managing dirty data and achieving very high target-specific efficiencies in searching. How do you see SYMAN impacting on the broader search market?
Srini Vishnubhatta: SYMAN cleans professional data and organizes it in order to make professional search effective. While we’re currently focused on searching professional data, SYMAN isn’t specific to recruiting and can be used across any function that involves searching professional data, such as sales prospecting or lead generation. Once you’re able to organize professional data, it makes any professional search more effective. So while we’re focused on recruiting now, there are many things we can do with SYMAN, and any products that exist in the market that enable professional search can be made better because of SYMAN.
Paul Wallis: SEO is the global currency for searches. How will SYMAN affect SEO?
Srini Vishnubhatta: Currently we’re not focused on the SEO market, but we are aware of the current challenges within the space. One SEO challenge is that there’s no context to infer information and create better matches to keywords. Because SYMAN is able to look at context across keywords, this problem can be solved and would be very effective for future SEO. For example, if one was to search for an “oncology nurse” most search engines only return searches for the title “oncology nurse.” These search results would be inaccurate because there are many ways titles relate to oncology nurse. For example, a person could have received a degree that is related to oncology or their title is “registered nurse,” which is a type of oncology nurse. Establishing context by inferring information from different keywords makes SEO more effective, resulting in more search matches than relying on keyword/text match.
Paul Wallis: The other implied big benefit of SYMAN is in online advertising. It looks like SYMAN is capable of creating more and better options for effective targeting of ads and finding the right sites to put ads using better filtering. Can SYMAN be used to do better things with online advertising?
Srini Vishnubhatta: Yes, SYMAN could be used to do better things with online advertising. It goes back to targeted advertising which is nothing but keyword/text match today. SYMAN is able to infer information based on context and not just keyword/text match, providing a more sophisticated way of targeting contextually relevant groups. That being said, there is a lot of money being wasted by not having the right technology and poorly targeting the wrong people. In some cases, it's not even possible to target profiles based on aggregate attributes.
Paul Wallis: May be a bit early to ask this question- Are you looking at variants or “sub species” of SYMAN for other sectors, beyond recruitment?
Srini Vishnubhatta: To clarify, SYMAN gives us the world’s best organized professional database and is powering our recruiting products. SYMAN cleans professional data and organizes it in order for us to leverage any professional search. Because of the opportunity and pain points in the recruiting industry, we are currently focused on recruiting. Given that SYMAN is such a versatile tool and provides a layer of more sophisticated search, it can be used for any number of business branches.
Paul Wallis: SYMAN is really rewriting the rulebook on search capabilities and expanding search frames of reference. What do you see as the natural evolutionary path for SYMAN?
Srini Vishnubhatta: The natural evolution of SYMAN would be expanding and bringing this to other verticals and parts of businesses. For example, employee insights for HR organizations would help with workforce optimization. Helping HR organizations identify their best talent, discover talent pools and get visibility into trends across their competitors can have a profound impact on various workforce related challenges every company is facing today.
Paul Wallis: If somebody wants to buy SYMAN, what’s the hard dollar cost, and what support services do you provide?
Srini Vishnubhatta: Currently SYMAN is being used exclusively by Identified to power recruiting search products, but it definitely has a lot of value for future applications. This is just the beginning of what SYMAN is capable of and we look forward to expanding the product into different verticals and areas of business.
Paul Wallis: Can SYMAN be “customised” for specific business roles, like business intelligence?
Srini Vishnubhatta: Yes, SYMAN can be customized to specific business roles as long as professional data is being searched. The company’s current focus is using SYMAN to power recruiting search products, but we’re looking to expand into business intelligence, specifically HR insights to help with workforce optimization.
As you can see, Identified is breaking new ground with almost every “baby step” of SYMAN. This is very obviously no ordinary baby, and the entire Internet information market needs to start paying attention right now. For the incoming Cloud technologies, SYMAN looks like exactly what it needs for efficient data handling. If this is infancy for SYMAN, childhood should be spectacular.
More about SYMAN, Identified, Recruit, search methodologies, search filtering
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