Visallo – plug and play cognitive technology


Cognitive Technology

In its simplest form, cognitive technology is software mimicking the human brain. A human brain can read text, listen to sound and spot objects in videos. A human brain understands context, it can learn from previous experience and it can adapt as new information comes its way. In short: the human brain is brilliant. Why would we use anything else?

Well, we are in an age of data generation. On average users of the Internet generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day. It’s not just reserved for the Internet either, companies are generating more internal data than ever and as storage becomes cheaper the data only grows.

The key to a company’s success may be hidden in their own data. The meaning of life may well be held on the Internet; you never know.

With this newly acquired data comes great opportunity. The key to a company’s success may be hidden in their own data. The meaning of life may well be held on the Internet; you never know. The problem of course is the sheer volume. The task of understanding the data and obtaining anything useful from it is impossible to do manually; although I’ve seen people try!

This is where cognitive technology comes in. Forms of artificial Intelligence, computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing and speech recognition; that can be used to understand the data for us. It is only then that we can then gain intelligence from the huge amount of data. All that is needed is an analytics system with cognitive technology…

All that is needed is an analytics system with cognitive technology…

Build your own

One option is to build a system from scratch.  By cherry picking the best technology companies (as well as open source resources) that provide cognitive analytics. You could feed data to and from these technologies into the system. You could pick a high-performance graph database to deal with the data and build a cutting edge browser-based UI to give statistical and visual analytics to the users.

This option is a viable but costly one. It will require a good solutions architect who understands the problem, some high-end developers, a data scientist and a project manager. It’s also a time-consuming proposition. You aren’t going to be getting results tomorrow.


Why build something when somebody else has already developed it? Another option is to buy an ‘off the shelf’ solution. Here the deployment will be fast, you will get support when you get stuck and the UI and back end database have already been thought through.

This option is appealing and may be cheaper. It is common though that you are then tied in to any technology that the software vendor has partnered with. This may mean: if you want improved voice recognition or natural language processing in Arabic, you may not find the solution you want.

Visallo – Plug ang Play Cognitive Technology

Visallo is one of the ‘off the shelf’ solutions described above. It is based on a high-performance graph database and it allows users to perform: statistical, visual (graph), temporal and geo-spatial analysis all from one intuitive browser-based UI.



While that is all appealing, the interesting part to Visallo is their attitude to extension and customization. They actively encourage it. Jeff Kunkle, the President of Visallo actually wrote a blog entitled ‘We love when customers replace our software’

Visallo was designed with extension and customization in mind. From the underlying data store to data processing algorithms and UI plugins, you’re not stuck with a one-size-fits-all solution.

This means if the default OpenNLP plug-in that analyses text and extracts entities (People, Organisations, Locations and Vehicles) from unstructured data doesn’t fit your needs; choose another one. If you want to integrate with you existing investment in voice recognition technology; no problem.


Plug and Play

This attitude to ‘plug and play’ technology allows the fast deployment and support of an off-the-shelf product, with the flexibility of a build-your-own solution.

For more information on Visallo visit their website or contact S-branch to find out more. If you’d like to find out more about cognitive technologies and the application into crime and fraud; feel free to call.

S-branch offers independent advice, so even if Visallo is not for you, we can help you find the solution that is.

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