Tag Archives | enterprise search

Sometimes you just have to shake your head. A couple of the many problems of search.

Analysts, studies, surveys, consultants point to the problems of search – meaning no one can ever find what they need. Same old problem that has existed probably when search began. Management seems to be well aware of the challenges of search, understand what unstructured content is yet, most do nothing about it. There are not only pretty good search engines, there are tools, such as ours, that assist in eliminating most of the challenges with search.

Step back a minute. According to an AIIM presentation, Are You Prepared for Digital Disruption? 2015 Predictions :
• 71% of organizations search is essential, yet only 18% have cross-repository search capabilities
• 28% of organizations have not tuned or optimized their search tool at all, including 8% who have not turned it on

This is where I begin to shake my head and question if there is any gray matter left in management or IT. I’m not sure why, when the technology is readily available, that they don’t take a stab at solving basic problems. Only 18% have cross-repository search capabilities? Not productive, I’m sure it’s not user friendly, and costly to have business users wasting their time searching multiple repositories one-by-one. The second statement is why on earth would an organization think that a search engine was just plug-and-play. Many come close, but tuning and optimization can greatly improve search outcome. And finally, I did have to chuckle about the 8% who have not turned search on. Maybe they just don’t want to know the answers.

Anyone have any reasons for the above? I am clueless.

(If you have a few minutes and use SharePoint or Office 365, could you kindly take our metadata survey? You could win a free conference pass to Microsoft Ignite. We would greatly appreciate it)

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End User Considerations in Search – Really We Need to Think About Them?

Many individuals don’t know how to search, and using one or two word keywords they will expect the results to be what they were looking for. Too many results causes navigational difficulties and the inability to visually evaluate the results to discern which entry is closest to what the user was searching for. Providing detailed search criteria is an individual, and not necessarily logical choice. Although most search engines support Boolean expressions they are beyond the knowledge of most end users for query refinement. In addition, 33% have difficulty navigating/orienting search results and 28% have difficulty maintaining orientation on a website.

Interestingly, users tend to abandon the search if there are many results or too many pages. According to IDC, 85% of relevant documents are never retrieved during search. From a business user perspective, all of these behaviors are repeated in the organization. The only caveat is that business users will tend to search longer if they know the information is there. 55% of searchers selected irrelevant results from a list of query responses multiple times, 36% did not go beyond the first 3 search results – not pages…results on page 1, and 91% did not go beyond the first page of search results.

Our final challenge with search is how we look for information is quite different between people and between people and machines.

The search engine must accommodate the different ways that users search and be able to discern their intent – human and machine retrieval are very different. Humans are limited by their ignorance. We don’t know what we’re looking for much of the time and so do not know how to find it. We often rely on technology to provide parameters to narrow our scope and put us on the right track. Unfortunately, technology is “face value” and so it does not know how to interpret our queries. Unless trained, machines do not understand that we can have a single word mean multiple things (order a meal, put things in order) or multiple terms mean the same thing (star: celestial entity, celebrity).

(If you have a few minutes and use SharePoint or Office 365, could you kindly take our metadata survey? You could win a free conference pass to Microsoft Ignite. We would greatly appreciate it)

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West Point Underwriters Deploying Concept Searching Metadata Framework

West Point Underwriters, an underwriting company supporting agents and brokers writing both mobile home and home insurance policies has selected conceptClassifier for SharePoint and conceptTaxonomyWorkflow as the metadata framework on their SharePoint 2010 /2013 farm to provide a better internal search service and manage certain types of content underpinning their governance requirements. Phase two will be the external facing deployment allowing their agents and brokers to search for relevant content through their SharePoint portal in a secure manner.

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Waiting for the ball to drop? This isn’t Times Square.

I just reviewed ’29 Warning Signs of Digital Disruption’ recently published by AIIM and produced by John Mancini. Since I am into research I found it fascinating. The slides were in reference to their AIIM surveys conducted to identify ‘global’ challenges many organizations face.

The statistics that I found particularly interesting include:

  • 71% of organizations recognize that search is vital or essential, yet only 18% have cross-repository search capabilities
  • 38% of organizations have not tuned or optimized their search tool at all, including 8% who have not even switched it on
  • 47% of organizations feel that universal search and compliant eDiscovery is becoming near impossible
  • 53% of organizations admit that their legal discovery procedures are “ad hoc, manual, disruptive, and expensive”
  • 42% of organizations struggle with unstructured inputs and connecting them to key business systems

The issue that I see, based on the presentation, is that organizations recognize the problem with information access, but are content to live with it. What I don’t know is why. As a software vendor with search solutions, the bullets can be relatively easily resolved. We can supply the technology but it is up to the organization to perform due diligence, planning, and the execution. Not easy, but if an organization could resolve just the above search challenges, would it be worth it? I think so.
I’m not sure what these organizations are waiting for? Do you?

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Ucare Deploys conceptClassifier for SharePoint

Concept Searching is pleased to announce that UCare, has deployed conceptClassifier for SharePoint in a SharePoint 2013 environment and has immediately seen an improvement in search results.  UCare is an independent, nonprofit health plan providing health coverage and services to more than 400,000 members in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. UCare serves more people from diverse cultures and more people with disabilities enrolled in Medical Assistance than any other health plan in Minnesota.

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The Tricks of the Trade – Enterprise Search

I’ve commented on this before, but the pendulum of enterprise search is moving, in my view, the wrong direction. In an effort to compete, vendors are delivering bells and whistles, that don’t necessarily improve enterprise search, in fact, can degrade the accuracy and relevancy of search to fit the current assumptions of what business users need and want.

At the end of the day, what they want is the ability to find the information they are seeking, in the right context, as quickly as possible. The ability to ‘like’, ‘rank’, ‘action terms’, ‘promoted results’, and automatically return these documents in a higher order has removed accuracy and relevancy from the search game.

Do business users get bogged down in the tricks of the trade so to speak, and therefore become less productive? What do you think of these bells and whistles? Do your business users see them as valuable? Are these features able to deliver high accuracy and relevancy?

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