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HighBeam Adds Eliyon Executives Database
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Posted On June 14, 2004
HighBeam Research, formerly Alacritude, has added the HighBeam Executives database (http://www.highbeam.com/exec), which offers—for free—information on around 20.5 million business executives, managers, and employees from close to 1.2 million organizations. The institutional coverage extends from public and private companies to nonprofit organizations. Eliyon Technologies supplies the data, which also appear on Eliyon's own Web-based service, using crawls of Web sites, press releases, electronic news sources, SEC filings, and other online sources. After collecting the data, Eliyon uses natural language processing to write the individual profiles. Profiles may include current place of employment, employment history, education, club memberships, board seats, and contact information.

Patrick Spain, chairman and CEO of HighBeam Research, said, "Our customers need quick and easy access to well-organized profiles of people at all levels of business and research tools to organize and deliver their answers."

Jonathan Stern, president and CEO of Eliyon Technologies, said: "Extending the reach of Eliyon's next generation search technology to a wider audience is a key benefit of this agreement. We are excited about working with HighBeam Research."

Eliyon claims it taps "virtually every corporate Web site in the U.S. and Canada," crawling all Web sites that end in .com, .net, .org, and .ca (Canada). It updates approximately 450,000 names each month. The executive coverage, according to Eliyon figures, breaks down as:

Board Members 1,576,638
Chairmen
 602,575
Presidents  1,393,354
CEOs 359,522
CFOs  72,522
CTOs  28,464
VPs  977,575
Directors  2,327,346
Managers  1,581,298
Engineers  146,754
Consultants 199,757
Project Managers 85,103

Searching by individual name or a combination of an individual and company name on HighBeam Executives does not require registration, but only HighBeam Basic Members can view full profiles. Registration as a Basic Member carries no charges; the only requirements for registration are supplying a full name, e-mail address, and age range, and promising to follow HighBeam's terms and conditions.

The HighBeam version of the executives file offers one major enhancement over Eliyon's. Profiles will also produce a list of results from HighBeam eLibrary, an archive of 31 million documents from over 2,700 sources, including newspapers, trade press, transcripts, images, and reference tools. The database also works with other HighBeam features, such as Web search, saving searches and search results, and exporting results to Word format. Full membership allows unlimited viewing of full-text articles, full access to personalization tools, and simplified exporting of research to Microsoft Office. Though unregistered users can not read full profiles, they can read abstracts of citations from eLibrary for free; seeing the full text of articles requires full HighBeam membership, which costs $99.95 a year or $19.95 a month subscription.

Eliyon uses an entirely automated system to gather its information, analyze and sort it, and produce finished profiles. Complimenting Eliyon, Spain noted: "I've been following them for a long time. I think they are doing one of the most intriguing, intellectually interesting things on the Net."

Though mistakes will occur in tying together names and people information, Eliyon does as creditable job as any completely automated system could, according to Spain. For one simple example, one need never worry whether Eliyon data recognizes "Dave" is also "David" and "Thomas" is also "Tom." Still, since Eliyon's system is a computerized process without human verification, serious searchers will most likely check the cited sites.

In contrast, the eLibrary searches performed by HighBeam to add value to its Eliyon coverage do not have any special artificial intelligence techniques applied, or even the table-checking that might cover alternative versions of first names. So false drops could occur, but Spain thought most users could spot them from the titles and abstract information. In any case, though it might waste user time, it would not add any additional charges since the annual HighBeam subscription covers full-text access.

Spain indicated that HighBeam is considering some changes. "It's one of our big projects, thinking about the whole issue of 31 million articles online and how to put links to them. We're considering an approach not dissimilar to Eliyon's." Spain expects to have 10 million HighBeam users by the end of the year.

Searching the Eliyon enterprise products version of the file opens up a number of approaches to the data, including searching by job title, employment history, educational background, location, etc., to identify people or companies of interest. The HighBeam version requires users to know a name to find details on a target's life; Eliyon's version can also search on the details of lives to find names. However Eliyon's own business model focuses on enterprise marketing and prices accordingly. Spain said that the difference was "more like $10,000 for Eliyon to under $100 for us."

However, Brian Elyea, director of corporate communications at Eliyon, indicated that you might be seeing the "Powered by Eliyon" icon appearing on a lot more services than HighBeam very soon. "We want to be associated with any search for business people," said Elyea, "and we have a long list of possible partners." HighBeam is just the first. Spain didn't seem surprised or dismayed by this news: "God bless them. They're spreading a wide net to find the people who want them."

[For more information on Highbeam, check out Paula Hane's NewsBreak ("Alacritude Turns a HighBeam on Research," Jan. 26, 2004, http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=16528). For background on Eliyon Technologies, check out Sheri Lanza's NewsBreak ("Eliyon Offers Business Database Built with Web Information," Nov. 26, 2001, http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=17455).]


Barbara Quint was senior editor of Online Searcher, co-editor of The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research, and a columnist for Information Today.


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