Would You Travel to Timbuktu Without a Map? Highly Doubtful
For those of you who love to travel, ever been to Timbuktu? I haven’t. Timbuktu, also spelled as Tinbuktu, Timbuctoo and Timbuktoo, is a historical city that is still inhabited, in the West African nation of Mali, situated 20 kilometers north of the River Niger, on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert.
Let’s assume you don’t live in Timbuktu and were planning a visit. Would you take a map? I would certainly hope so. A map has the same purpose as a taxonomy – to get you where you are going without getting lost in the search. In our case, Timbuktu.
Did you know that presenting end users with taxonomy navigation reduces search time by 36 to 48 percent? And did you know that more than 37 percent of workers spend at least 10 hours a week searching for information? Finally, did you know that only 20 percent of workers say they can find what they are searching for during the first query?
So how does a taxonomy help? You are going to say that you can navigate by a hierarchy. I would say that, ideally, you can navigate the classification hierarchy of content organized by concepts.
For the most part, many people really don’t know how to search. Sometimes I may even fall into the category – shocking, I know. But the reality is that we don’t. We may be adept at Google, but fail badly using enterprise search.
A taxonomy used with multi-term conceptual metadata generation and intelligent classification will present end users with a hierarchy and a single term or concept that they can navigate to, and retrieve what they are looking for or find content that is closely related to it in concepts.
Sure beats getting to Timbuktu without a map. Do you use a taxonomy, even if it’s a spreadsheet?