Intelligent Search and Information Governance – I Don’t See the Connection
What do you think of this statement? “Intelligent search is a primary component of information governance and should be treated as a core infrastructure requirement, driven by executive management.” Thought so – I believe most people disagree with the statement, and there are probably naysayers among my blog readers.
When effective, the results from intelligent search become the trusted form of organizational truth, and as a myriad of discrete applications and users intersect to use the data, the tactical objectives of an overarching information governance strategy can be consistently achieved. Without risk assessment and policies that apply to enterprise search, a Pandora’s box of problems is opened.
Search covers a broad spectrum of business processes. Not only in the identification of relevant information required for business users to perform their responsibilities, but also in the retrieval of documents of record, identifying and prohibiting access to sensitive or data privacy data, noisy data sets in text analytics, and even secure collaboration.
The various applications that rely on accurate search, such as eDiscovery, litigation support, and FOIA, increase the cost of doing business and most definitely organizational risk, if poor search results are the norm. At an equally important level, ineffective search impacts customer service, sales, and human resources. In fact, poor search impacts information governance every time a query is executed and erroneous results are returned. Ineffective search negatively impacts the bottom line.
For the foreseeable future, the name of the game is metadata. Until search solutions can extract the meaning from within content, nothing will change. Even with a technological silver bullet, improved search and information transparency will never ‘just happen.’
The information governance stumbling block is, and always has been, the lack of meaningful metadata, the presence of highly subjective and erroneous metadata, and the role of the business user as the primary author of metadata. Cumbersome drop-down lists and forcing metadata management on the business user simply don’t work.
Metadata alone cannot deliver intelligent search but it is the primary enabler. Adding auto-classification of content and a managed hierarchy, such as a taxonomy, provides a flexible and complete solution that can be proactively managed to address multiple application requirements.