SharePoint 2013 – Managed navigation or unchartered territories?
Lots of changes coming in SharePoint 2013 search. Which is good news for anyone who uses search (and who doesn’t?). One of the new features is the ability to manage navigation on a site by using term sets. Supplementing the existing SharePoint navigation that is based on site structure, managed navigation can be accomplished by adding terms to term sets in the Term Store Management tool.
It actually is a great feature. What it lacks of course is automation, accuracy, and relevance. If you were creating a catalog it’s pretty straightforward, it can be developed rather quickly, and the potential for errors is low. The example that Microsoft is quite fond of using is ‘Audio’…’Cameras’…’Computers’ and of course the relevant sub categories. Not particularly challenging.
Let’s look at this scenario from a business perspective where we are not selling widgets. We will assume I am in Human Resources and I am trying to find resumes of people who speak fluent Chinese and English, with experience in new media and project management and information architecture. Setting this up in the term store now becomes a little more tricky. If I am searching using the word resume I will also need to find any relevant document that is a CV. I also don’t want to find someone who is Chinese, but fluent in speaking Chinese, and all the experience requirements must be met. Much more of a challenge now isn’t it? And who is setting the term set up? Do they understand my needs as an HR person, or as a marketing person, or as a product engineer? And then of course, tomorrow I will be searching for something completely different.
Inundated with information which shows no sign of abating, how do the term sets remain relevant and what does it take to manage them? Organizations that do not develop an Enterprise Metadata Repository will lose competitive advantages, agility, and most likely make poor decisions because of the inability to find relevant content.
conceptTaxonomyManager, a component of conceptClassifier for SharePoint has the capability to automatically group unstructured information together based on an understanding of the concepts and ideas that share mutual attributes while separating dissimilar concepts. This approach is instrumental in delivering relevant information via the taxonomy structure as well as using the automatically generated semantic metadata in enterprise search to reduce time spent finding information, increase relevancy and accuracy of the search results and enable the re-use and re-purposing of content.
So how does conceptTaxonomyManager impact the term sets? Running natively and fully integrated with the Term Store, the taxonomy component can consistently apply conceptual metadata to content and auto-classify to the term store metadata model solving the challenge of applying the metadata to thousands of documents and eliminating the need to depend on the end user community to correctly tag content. The taxonomy manager component functions bi-directionally with the term store where changes can be made in the term store or in the taxonomy manager. This added functionality assists in expediting the development of the metadata models, offers sophisticated refinement capabilities, and significantly reduces on-going maintenance.
Why not really improve search?