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Intelligent Search Delivers Knowledge to Harness Resources through Global Development Intranet

“Forty years, thousands of projects and proposals, and tens of thousands of contacts means that lots of information resides in lots of different places. Access to this information is key. While no system will write a proposal for us, conceptClassifier for SharePoint is helping us to aggregate and focus on the data that is most relevant to the task at hand, pointing staff in the right direction and helping them identify ‘what we know and how we know it.'”

Steven O’Connor, Director of Communications, DAI

Concept Searching
Customer Location:
International Development

An efficient way of capturing and compiling information throughout the lifecycle of the business was needed, from market intelligence to proposal development to project implementation.


“As a globally dispersed company, we wanted the portal to be a window onto all of our data – much of it residing in other applications and file shares. Concept Searching delivers the ability to index and access this data, and compile it based on key metadata, enabling effective knowledge sharing for our employees.”

Tami Fries – Director, Solutions Delivery, DAI

An integrated solution to access content from many data sources, using ‘compound term processing’ to deliver accurate search results through a global intranet.


  • Improved search results
  • Increased findability
  • Global data sharing
  • Time saving

DAI is an employee-owned global development company, working on the frontlines of international development to tackle fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance, and instability.

DAI has been delivering development in the world’s most demanding environments for over 40 years. It combines innovative thinking, deep technical knowledge and professional project management, delivering results in over 60 countries, to clients such as international development agencies and lending institutions, private corporations and philanthropies, and national governments.


As a knowledge business, DAI relies on the ability to identify and harness resources across its global organization, which can be used to create solutions to development challenges.

It needed an efficient way of capturing and compiling information throughout the lifecycle of the business – from market intelligence to proposal development to project implementation and lessons learned.

Key information resides in multiple places throughout the organization, and in multiple systems – in over 93,000 records and library entries.

DAI’s corporate portal, built on a SharePoint platform, needed to act as a window onto this data, to enable up to 1,500 employees access to information to help them understand not only what the organization knows, but also how it knows it.

In order to achieve that goal, a more powerful set of tools was needed than those available in SharePoint.

As a globally dispersed company, DAI needed the portal to provide access to critical data and file shares, often residing in other applications.

Concept Searching’s solutions, built on its conceptClassifier platform, deliver the ability to index and access this data, and compile it based on key metadata, using its unique ‘compound term processing’ to extract concepts from content, enabling effective knowledge sharing for DAI’s employees.

The conceptClassifier platform is unique in that it generates keywords, acronyms, and phrases from within content, by automatically identifying the word patterns in unstructured text that convey the most meaning.

An example of how the solution can deliver value is seen in DAI’s regional offices in London, Mexico City, and Amman. These offices are tasked with building business for DAI with local and regional clients.

Using the Concept Searching solution enables them to access the wealth of information that resides in DAI’s headquarters in Bethesda, MD, in the United States. Information such as:

  • Project documentation
  • Success stories
  • Technical articles
  • Market intelligence
  • Contacts database
  • Performance reports
  • Proposal documents

Concept Searching integration partner Project Performance Corporation (PPC) facilitated the upgrade and redesign of DAI’s corporate portal in SharePoint 2010. PPC’s experience working with Concept Searching’s technologies enabled it to leverage the technologies within the framework to help achieve DAI’s goals.

DAI has experienced many benefits as a result of the deployment of the Concept Searching solution:

  • Improved search results, which help employees find documents and data essential to their daily tasks
  • The ability to make data outside SharePoint searchable to users inside the corporate portal
  • The facility to modify and tune its business taxonomies, which directly impacts users, by how data is classified, and the search facets and filters available

In addition, DAI possesses a flexible solution, which allows its constantly changing business to distribute more functionality across a number of global offices.

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