Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Enterprise Search: Factors to be considered

Social and Enterprise Search capabilities are becoming very important for the Enterprises.

While Enterprise Social capability enables employees across different groups to collaborate and share knowledge, Enterprise Search capability enables employees to search digital content & data spread across different isolated systems and applications

Success of an Enterprise Search capability not only depend on the technology /platform that is leveraged but also on other key factors such as:

  1. Content Sources

Analysis of the sources from which content will be searched and made available for the end user consumption. If the source systems are not analyzed properly in terms of content volume, Meta data of the content, then there will be miss match between what is expected by the end user and what the Enterprise Search capability shows as search results. If the content in the source systems are not marked with proper metadata or if the metadata in the source systems are not understood properly leading to wrong mapping, then it will result in irrelevant search results.


  1. Security

Access restrictions on the content in the various sources; every source will have its own access restrictions on its content / data like which group of users will have access to view , update & delete. It is important that when these content / data is made available as part of search results, same access (view) restrictions are to be carried out ; Mechanisms employed for achieving access restriction will vary from one content source to another and they have to be understood and accordingly search capability is to be planned


  1. Scheduling of Search Crawls


Content in different content sources will get updated in different time intervals and there will be also variations in update frequency. This has to be taken into consideration when finalizing schedules when various content sources will be crawled by the search capability. Improper scheduling of crawls will result in old / irrelevant data surfacing in the search result.


  1. Personas

It is important to understand the different personas of an enterprise who will use the search capability and their intent of search. For example, search results that is expected by an executive from the finance department of an enterprise, for a given query word will differ from that is expected by an executive from the sales department.

  1. End user awareness


Success of an Enterprise Search capability also depends on how end user’s expectation are met. Every user is already exposed to the internet search capabilities such as Bing, Google etc. and their expectation on Enterprise Search capability will be on similar lines. But dynamics of Enterprise Search capability differs from internet search capabilities in terms security, content relevancy based on user persona, freshness etc. and enterprise end users are to be educated accordingly.

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