Metadata the real currency of interoperability
The ability to capture concept based metadata and retrieve relevant search results from within the organization and diverse applications are the real currency of interoperability. Providing syntactic as well as semantic metadata delivers the ability to represent and share the meaning of content in an unambiguous manner.
Ideally, taxonomies must align with an organization’s mission and contain classes and class clues, allowing search engines to use extracted key words and phrases to identify main concepts. If a user knows the concept but not the correct keywords or terminology, he/she can conduct a search to retrieve documents that closely relate to the clues provided by the end user. As an example, using the Medical Subject Heading Taxonomy (MeSH) developed by the National Library of Medicine and an end user conducts a search on “colon cancer”, in addition to the directly related documents that will be found, the Concept Searching technology capability used with the MeSH taxonomy will find related topics to include polyps, cancer learning, virtual colonoscopy, colonoscopy, and colorectal.
Organizations may have a wide variety of constituents that need access to content to meet different needs. Internal vocabularies are often specific to that organization and even departments (think marketing versus engineering) and may not be easily translated by personnel outside of a particular community rendering the content unusable. Further complicating matters is that within an organization there may be varying solutions for identifying and storing electronic documents. The inconsistency of these systems hampers the ability of users to find relevant information, specifically when searching across multiple silos of content within the organization. Although knowledge workers need unified and universal access to information, at a more granular level they need to be able to find exactly and only the content they need. Using this approach, from an end user perspective, knowledge workers can locate pertinent information from his or her own individual viewpoint without knowing the exact search terms to use.
Concept Searching technologies integrate with all Microsoft search products, in fact any enterprise search engine. The semantic metadata is used to populate the search engine index to enable ‘concept based searching’. Presenting relevant information to different stakeholders and effective search results is further enabled via taxonomy based or faceted based navigation. The knowledge worker controls the search experience and the search results present facets of documents grouped together based on the concepts identified. This extends the search process as documents will be grouped by concept and assists the knowledge worker in offering content that may not have been found. This unified view and access to relevant information from disperse silos within the organization or external sources, can reduce the volume, cost, and time traditionally required to retrieve and find relevant content.
At the end of the day, metadata is the real currency of interoperability.