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Method and apparatus for the manual conversion of unstructured data into structured form Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129852D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Oct-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 64K

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This article describes a method and apparatus to make manual conversion of unstructured data into a structured format more efficient. This has the advantage of reducing the labour cost of conversion while retaining the simplicity of implementing a manual system.

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Method and apparatus for the manual conversion of unstructured data into structured form


    Most electronically-stored data is unstructured - often in the form of emails or webpages. Structured data however is simpler to analyse, search, categorise and manipulate. There are many circumstances where it is necessary to convert unstructured data into structured data, some examples being:

Converting an email enquiry into a Problem Management Record, or an opportunity in a Customer Relationship Management system or opportunity tracker
Converting an email or webpage containing product information into a Product Information Management system
Categorising web-pages

There are a number of existing solutions for converting structured data into unstructured for these applications:

Manual: employ staff to manually trawl unstructured information sources and fill in forms to convert the data into a structured format Automatic: attempt to perform textual analysis on the source unstructured data to automatically generate structured content Semi-automatic: interactive system such as an automatic system that also employs machine-learning by asking the user to judge its decisions in converting the data

    Manual systems are labour intensive, but relatively simple to setup and monitor, whereas automatic systems require highly complex algorithms involving semantic analysis for anything but the simplest of conversions.


The system of conversion described in this article comprises:

1. a device for selecting unstructured information e.g. a mouse
2. a device for defining a target field in a structured format e.g. a customised keyboard, or voice input and recognition system