Information Transparency and Information Retrieval
Enterprise search is a core infrastructure component. The business impact of poor search results reaches far beyond the retrieval of information.
At the most basic level, enterprise search has become inadequate. Bells and whistles abound but the problem still exists. Search cannot find and deliver relevant information in the right context, at the right time. Search is a key component and critical enabler for improving business outcomes.
Concept Searching’s search capability is a unique, language-independent technology. It automatically generates compound term metadata, eliminating human idiosyncrasies. This metadata is generated in the form of concepts, phrases, topics, or subjects, using multi-word terms. The content is auto-classified to taxonomies, where it can be maintained and managed by business professionals.
From a search perspective, the rich multi-term metadata is fed to the search engine index, enabling concept-based searching. The information retrieval process is significantly improved.
Indexing facilities are provided for internal content, websites, file systems and XML documents. APIs and natively integrated connectors are also available.
The ability to populate the SharePoint Term Store is also possible when maintaining the taxonomy. This feature works in real time, and changes made in the Term Store or in taxonomies are bi-synchronous. This enables organizations to facilitate the use of the term store, without investing the time and human resources needed to maintain the term store.
What Do You Do When You Have Poor Metadata or No Metadata, and Want to Improve Information Transparency and Retrieval?
This client is a world-renowned electrical engineering and electronics firm. In support of 8,000 business users in the US, it needed a way to improve search on its SharePoint intranet. After evaluating available solutions, it selected conceptClassifier for SharePoint as the infrastructure to support its existing search solution.
What were the challenges?
- Little to no metadata
- Lack of auto-classification capabilities
- End user tagging, when done, was poor
- Search limited to keywords, and unusable content retrieved
The Concept Searching solution was able to automatically generate metadata representing concepts and phrases, consisting of multi-word terms. This eliminated end user tagging. This also solved the problem of poor metadata and the absence of metadata. Content was auto-classified to the corpus of content. Metadata was consistent and meaningful.
Search results were significantly improved. Users were not required to enter metadata, improving their productivity. Search could also be executed not only on keywords but also on multi-word terms. This retrieved more meaningful content, eliminating irrelevant results.
Applying Information Governance Practices to Successfully Migrate Content to SharePoint Online.
This client provides services to a large cigarette and tobacco company. The companion company provides the company with services, including compliance, corporate affairs, finance, government affairs, human resources, information technology, regulatory affairs, research, and development.
The client services company wanted to accomplish the following:
- Thorough planning for migration from SharePoint on-premises to SharePoint Online
- Clean up the corpus of content and identify undeclared records, data privacy and confidential information exposures, and noncompliance instances
- Enrich remaining content with multi-term metadata
- Ensure the migrated corpus of content was organized and easily managed
Information governance best practices were applied to the migration of the company’s unstructured content. This approach enabled rapid document migration, as well as the ability to evaluate each document as it was migrated. The end result was a highly effective approach, to cleanse irrelevant or unnecessary documents, and to identify records that may not have been declared, or content that contained potential privacy and confidential information exposures.
Migration projects typically have questionable success rates. You are migrating a vital portion of your business. Are you willing to accept failure?
Occurring after content optimization, intelligent migration identifies the content to be moved, and an administrator defines where it will be moved. Concept Searching technology generates concepts before the actual migration. Temporary taxonomies are used to refine the content by concept, or client, or topic, within specific taxonomies. This effectively groups like content, so when migrated it retains the likeness or similarity of related documents.
An intelligent approach to migration can be achieved. As content is migrated, it is analyzed for organizationally-defined descriptors and vocabularies, which will automatically classify the content to taxonomies, or optionally to the SharePoint Term Store, and automatically apply organizationally-defined workflows, to process the content to the appropriate repository for review and disposition.
This has an added benefit after migration, improving information retrieval and providing the taxonomy hierarchy to end users as a navigational aid, offering like topics in the taxonomy for selection and exploration, so further refining their initial query.
Data Privacy and Protection of Confidential Information
Protect confidential information, and reduce the 68 percent of breaches caused by your end users.
Maintaining security and limiting access to internal as well as external documents has been made that much more difficult with the rapid increase of security breaches – from ransomware, malware, and internal negligence. The legal profession is not immune to breaches, and must at least meet the requisite requirements to keep information secure and inaccessible to those without the need to know.
Included in taxonomy management components are standard descriptors, available in most security packages. However, confidential information exists that is unique to an organization.
Workflows that are easily defined by business professionals can be created, to automatically identify organizationally-defined confidential information, when content is ingested or created, and then route it to a secure repository, where download is prohibited. The appropriate administrator of the repository can evaluate the quarantined content, and handle its disposition.
When identified words appear during indexing, those documents are removed from access and await disposition. Workflows also operate in real time, immediately identifying when an unauthorized user is within a document where those terms are present. This ensures a robust redaction process, so content can be isolated immediately. This also takes place when users upload or create documents that have the potential to cause breaches, or that lack appropriate security.
Protecting Intellectual Property. Think it Can’t Get into the Wrong Hands? Think Again.
With 68 percent of all data breaches caused internally, it is highly probably that confidential company information will be exposed through negligence, or deliberately.
With over 8,000 end users, this electrical engineering and electronics firm recognized that although it needed a way to protect data privacy and financials, its corporate intellectual property and confidential information also needed to be protected and accessed only by those with a need to know.
The client was seeking a solution that was:
- Flexible and able to identify any information the company considered confidential
- Performed in real time, not after the fact
- Protected documents containing vulnerabilities, by finding and moving them to a secure repository for disposition
- Prohibited download
- Contained workflow rules that were easy to define and use
Using the conceptClassifier platform and conceptTaxonomyWorkflow, business users and IT teams were able to define rules consisting of descriptors and text to identify company confidential information. This enabled the organization to address all its concerns about the protection of confidential information. It now feels confident that its confidential information is protected, and is inaccessible, except to those few with a need to know.
Finding the One Document You Need to Make an Informed Decision.
This company provides services to one of the world’s largest tobacco and cigarette corporations. The services company is responsible for compliance, corporate affairs, finance, government affairs, human resources, information technology, regulatory affairs, research, and development. Moving to SharePoint Online presented some challenges.
- Too much content to manage effectively, severely impacting search results
- Needed to have a successful migration to SharePoint Online, with content organized for future access
- Metadata was poor or non-existent, causing poor search results
The conceptClassifier platform and conceptTaxonomyWorkflow enabled the organization to achieve all its goals, specifically the initial step of content optimization.
Using content optimization, the corpus of content was significantly reduced in size and organized for migration, enabling the company to easily manage the content through taxonomies. After the migration, it was also able to utilize concept-based searching, significantly improving performance.
Some refer to it as deletion. But it’s more than that. What about that one document that contains value? Don’t you want to keep it?
Content optimization is the process of removing information from active systems, through deletion or archiving, and identifying duplicates, near duplicates, undeclared records, and data privacy exposures. It eliminates obsolete and trivial content, which has been saved but is of no value.
Concept Searching recommends that content optimization is done on a quarterly basis. It is estimated that 69 percent of an organization’s content can, and should, be deleted.
Did you know?
- 25 percent of content is duplicate
- 10 percent has no business value
- 90 percent of documents are never accessed after creation
- 65 percent of documents are accessed only once
And the risks are:
- PII, PHI, and PCI data breaches
- Uncontrolled intellectual property
- Unmanaged documents of record
- Unsecured confidential company information
Content optimization not only reduces storage but dramatically improves information retrieval, as it eliminates false positives and irrelevant information from retrieval results.
Automatically identify, tag, and classify documents of record, for compliance and information governance.
The biggest stumbling block in records management has been end user tagging. Organizations typically have their end users declare records, and often require reference to the file plan. Unfortunately, this process is subjective. Worse yet is when records are not tagged at all, resulting in organizational noncompliance. Forcing end users to accurately assign records descriptors is not a sound approach and is bound to fail.
With complex file plans, and the fact that human tagging is haphazard at best, organizations often unwittingly fall into the trap of noncompliance. Accomplishing compliance by developing a taxonomy that mirrors the file plan, the conceptClassifier platform is used to automatically identify documents of record, and to assign descriptors and any associated text. In the SharePoint environment, a content type can be automatically changed to reflect the type of record, and the information within the content that caused it to be auto-classified under a specific content type.
Once declared, the record can be automatically sent to the records management application, or an administrator can be notified, to review.
Do You Really Want Your Project Managers Spending their Days Manually Correcting Records?
This world-renowned electrical engineering and electronics firm is using Concept Searching software to facilitate its records management process. Typically, record descriptors that match the file plan are entered by users. The process is fraught with errors, varying with the length and complexity of the file plan. Metadata can be erroneous or just plain missing. It is up to the records managers to fix the problems, when they could be performing more valuable tasks.
The records management challenges faced by this company included:
- Poor metadata, or no metadata, to process documents of record
- Unproductive use of records managers’ time
- No information lifecycle management processes
- Audit trails, due diligence, and evidence of effort of compliance
The automation of records processing was rapidly accomplished, using conceptTaxonomyWorkflow to automate the process. The solution is easy-to-use and can be deployed in minutes by records managers, eliminating dependence on the IT team.
By automating the records management process, the company was able to eliminate end user tagging, and records managers were more productive, spending time on higher order tasks.
There is No Room for Mistakes. Facing Tough Challenges? We Can Help.
The mergers and acquisitions process is complicated. Not only do people have to be the primary concern, but systems, onboarding, compliance, security, and eDiscovery are all part of the mix.
This client offers broadband, video, voice, satellite video, wireless Internet data access, and data security solutions. It is the largest communications company to provide services to predominantly rural areas and small and medium-sized towns and cities in the US. It acquired the fixed lines of a major communications carrier, which necessitated the merger.
Merging the two companies was a challenge, to say the least. Some of the issues faced included:
- Poor descriptive metadata, or lack of metadata, providing no insight on how to merge content
- Segregation of business lines for compliance
- Data privacy, noncompliance, and eDiscovery exposures
- Records integration to ensure ongoing compliance
- Onboarding of personnel
Using the conceptClassifier platform and conceptTaxonomyWorkflow, the organization was able to intelligently make informed decisions about content, on how, or even if, it should be moved, and also its disposition.
Using these solutions from the beginning of the process, it was able to reduce rework, eliminate potential errors, and organize content after the merger.
The ability to identify data privacy, undeclared records, and confidential information ensured adherence to compliance requirements.
The resulting metadata enterprise framework provides significant benefits after the merger or acquisition, through concept-based searching capabilities, records management, real-time identification of security data and confidential information, content management, and ongoing content optimization.
Mergers and Acquisitions
No disruption to information lifecycle management. We can help with coexistence, absorption, onboarding, and the goal of transformation.
With a single solution, you can manage, retain and control unstructured and semi-structured data throughout the information lifecycle, to deliver measurable benefits across an enterprise. Concept Searching addresses the entire scope of mergers or acquisitions, including coexistence, absorption, best of breed, and transformation.
Concept Searching provides consistent technology that can be scaled across diverse applications, content repositories, file systems, operating systems, and hardware platforms.
The automatically generated compound term metadata is of significant value, and can be used to merge content repositories, auto-classifying to multiple taxonomies, where the output can be easily identified and validated for accuracy.
The auto-classification of content and normalizing of vocabularies results in reductions in training requirements and the time needed onboard new personnel, at the same time increasing productivity and improving customer service.
Rapid taxonomy development by subject-matter experts, not necessarily by the IT team is possible. And interactive, real-time feedback is useful in aligning geographies, products, and sales teams. This reduces the time taken to merge or acquire an entity, and increases accuracy of merged content.
Standard in all Concept Searching solutions is the automatic identification of data exposures, security issues, and noncompliance data. Using conceptTaxonomyWorkflow reduces corporate risk, and processes can be executed before content is live and available.
Because of the automatic metadata generation and auto-classification, manual tagging and filing is eliminated, ensuring the accuracy of merged data, and the creation of a metadata infrastructure, which enables swift and effective onboarding.
The value of reuse and repurposing content. That is, if you can find it.
Reuse and repurposing of existing content fails to occur because of poor search. According to IDC, if a worker cannot find the information they are looking for within four minutes, they will do the following.
- Recreate it
- Use older content assets
- Interrupt a co-worker
- Start without the information needed
- Don’t start
Search results can vary. Most organizations have poor tagging practices or do no tagging at all. This results in serious information transparency and retrieval issues. Users need to sort through irrelevant content and often cannot find what they are looking for. This means content cannot be reused or repurposed.
Concept Searching solutions generate multi-term metadata, automatically, which represents concepts and phrases. This alone improves the ability to retrieve accurate content. Auto-classification classifies content to one or more taxonomies, where administrators can finely tune the classification results if needed.
conceptTaxonomyManager was designed for subject-matter experts, not IT teams, and is an easy-to-use, advanced, enterprise-class, taxonomy development and management tool. It offers robust, unique functionality. Developed with the view that a taxonomy solution should be used by business professionals, and not IT teams or librarians, the end result is a highly interactive and powerful tool, proven to reduce traditional taxonomy development time by up to 80 percent.
Since Concept Searching solutions are typically used as infrastructure components, they lend themselves to application integration. The conceptClassifier platform is based on an open architecture, with all APIs based on XML and Web Services. Transparent access to system internals, including the statistical profile of terms, is standard. The base platform is installed as a feature set, and includes the compound term processing engine, auto-classification, and taxonomy management tools.
Eliminating the Recreation of the Wheel, and Maintaining Competitive Advantage
The ability to reuse and repurpose information is sometimes overlooked, or not enough value is placed on existing content. The crux of the problem is the inability to find relevant information that is available and has been used in the past.
Since Concept Searching was established, this client came on board to use the software for a very specific application. This multinational telecommunications company ranks as the largest globally, with over 268,000 employees.
For the last fifteen years, this organization has generated highly complex proposals for hardware and services, often several hundred pages long. To remain competitive and to facilitate the proposal process, the reuse and repurposing of appropriate content is a critical success factor. Reinventing the wheel for each proposal iteration was unproductive, prone to error, and turnaround was becoming unacceptable.
The challenges faced included:
- Inability to find information relevant to the proposal at hand for reuse and repurposing
- Competitive advantage jeopardized due to length of time to create a proposal from scratch
- End users heavily dependent on co-workers to provide feedback, advice, and accumulate appropriate information
- Inability for remote staff to identify information needed for proposal generation
This client chose the Concept Searching solution because of its ability to automatically generate multi-term, conceptual metadata. This component enabled staff to find proposal boilerplate and existing solutions, to incorporate into the proposal without recreating it. Significant savings were achieved when this was made available globally.
As a technology framework, the metadata generation, auto-classification, and taxonomy features are utilized to make available new information to the proposal process.
Customization and extensive automation was incorporated over time, so that information continually remains current and competitive. Now a sophisticated solution overcomes the bottlenecks that occurred in the past. Traditional software would have required an updated solution, but from 2002 through to today, the technology still remains unique in the marketplace.