Environmental Scanning: How to find topic clusters based on connecting own RSS Feeds in the ITONICS Scout

What is it?

Developments happen fast. It is thus important to sense important developments early and detect the right weak signals. 

With the ITONICS Scout, you have the option to bring in your own RSS feeds to your ITONICS application and let the application cluster for you the incoming data stream. This will help you to detect patterns along those data streams and share the most interesting news within your ITONICS Innovation OS. 


Please note: This feature needs to be activated by ITONICS. Please contact your Customer Innovation Success Manager for further assistance.

In the following, you will learn how to

How does it work?

Setup the Scout

After the module has been activated by your Customer Innovation Success Manager, you need to define the permissions for the Scout. To set the permissions, go to the Settings Wheel > Entity Configuration > Entity Configuration > (Global) Permission Configuration

You will find a separate tab called "Scout Permissions". Check here the boxes to allow the respective actions as per your defined user roles.

Setup a search field

Every permitted user can set up a 'search field'. A search field is a container in which the different RSS sources and/or documents are connected. Hover over the Create button and Search field. Fill out the form and add your RSS feeds.


After you have set up one or multiple search fields with defined individual RSS feeds and/or uploaded appropriate patent or scientific data, you can start exploring the search field.

Finding topic clusters in the Cluster view

The Cluster view creates semantic clusters and categories by scanning the title and abstract of each document within the search field. The cluster view visualizes those semantic clusters and indicates how many and which documents are categorized into each cluster.

By double-clicking on an individual cluster you can zoom in to explore the second-level clusters that are created within the top-level cluster.


Finding recurrent key terms in the Term cloud view

The term cloud visualizes the most often used terms within the title and abstract of all documents within the search field.


You can also blacklist certain terms by dragging unwanted terms for cleaning and more detailed term cloud views. Screenshot_2021-06-29_at_16.57.10.png

Filtering the Scout database

You can also search and filter within each search field to fine-tune your queries and therefore to set the context or perspective for finding the desired information and insights. You can make use of the following filter options:

  • Fulltext search
  • Filter for your data sources
  • Filter unread/read documents
  • Filter marked documents
  • Filter for the semantic clusters


For every applied filter the list of documents that is shown below the cluster view and the term cloud view is updated. You can also explore each document in more detail by looking at the document list. Each document consists of different data points depending on the document source and the attached meta information.



Enrich your search field with document uploads

After setting up a search field and therefore defining the scope and context of the search, you can upload content from various sources. 

Supported Databases

The following databases and formats are currently supported:

Upload Files to Search Field

For every search field, you can upload the above file types by clicking the import icon.

Upload Search Field.png

While you explore the content of your search field you will have the option to interact with the individual documents, or you can do that using certain bulk actions. After carefully filtering through your search field data you can select one or more documents by clicking on them individually or via Select > All. You can then perform the following actions on those selected documents:

  • Remove documents
  • Mark documents as important
  • Mark documents as favorite
  • Save a document and convert it into a configured content element (please talk to your Customer Innovation Success Manager about this option)
  • Relate a document to existing elements in the system

Scout_select actions.png

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