Today we are excited to announce the advanced search solution template for Bing News (a counterpart to the Twitter template released last September). Upon defining a search term of interest, a brand manager can use our template to find and read the articles most relevant to them. The template extends the Bing News Search capabilities by allowing users to filter on things like sentiment, topics, as well as organizing data into known locations people and organizations. A brand manager can quickly drill into an entity to filter snippets and navigate to articles relevant to their search.

While the solution template utilizes sophisticated Microsoft Research technologies and a whole range of Azure services, it is very easy and quick to set up. All you will need to get started are the search terms you want to track and an Azure subscription. Behind the scenes, we create an ETL pipeline that sets up the whole flow.

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Information Retrieval

Effective information retrieval has been a huge focus of Microsoft Research who have contributed much IP to this solution template. The template thus uses a range of natural language processing techniques including unsupervised machine learning algorithms like key phrase extraction and LDA for topic modelling as well as supervised methods like sentiment analysis and entity extraction.

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All these enrichments are carried out inside the solution template pipeline using Azure services like Logic Apps and Azure Functions for orchestration as well as Cortana Analytics cognitive services and Azure ML for the machine learning pieces.

 

Custom Visuals for Collections of Text

The other key to effective information retrieval is the way the information is presented to the user. Microsoft Research have authored several sophisticated custom visuals that are aimed at helping your search experience.

One example is the cluster map which is a great way of visualizing themes. The visual displays clusters of related articles, aggregating them by a keyword (topic). A brand manager can use the cluster map to quickly identify topics they want to learn more about and further qualify them by things like timeframe, news category or perhaps sentiment bucket—and then easily navigate to the articles themselves for full exploration of the topic. This allows brand managers to connect to the right articles quickly and in a visually impactful way.

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Another example is the facet key used to aggregate and visualize known entities inside meaningful categories. For the solution template, we use locations, people and organizations as the entity categories. The facet key helps us find articles that mention the specific entity we are interested in. Once we decide on an entity or theme we can easily navigate from the snippet to the article by clicking on the link inside the tile.

You can learn more about custom Power BI visuals for analyzing text collections.

 

Try it out & let us know

Go ahead and check out the Bing News solution template. You can try out an interactive sample report, watch a demo video or just go ahead and set things up! The team is always interested in any thoughts or feedback – you can reach us through our alias (pbisolntemplates@microsoft.com) or by leaving a comment on the Power BI Solution Template Community page.