Have you ever been in a situation at a department store where you were looking for an item, but you weren’t exactly sure what to call it. This can make life difficult, for both you and the sales associate behind the counter. Keep in mind that the inventory that a sales associate must deal with can be massive, for example, Sears has 1500 different toys that they sell. To manage their massive inventories, department stores have employed databases to track where these items are located, how much they cost, along with any other important facts. Unfortunately, this great technology doesn’t help when a customer doesn’t know exactly what they looking for.

To search a traditional database, the user must know the exact name of an item; with a truly semantic database, the user only needs facts about the item. For example, if a customer needs a lint roller, but they are calling it a sticky roller, the semantic database will still know to provide information about the lint roller.

How many department stores or shops have lost sales, because a sales person was not able to figure out if the item that the customer was inquiring for, was held within their inventory?