Every organization will have different data formats and distinctive requirements for the retrieval, storage, and editing of that data. The challenge for end-users is locating the answers they seek within a collective gathering of unstructured and structured data. Existing solutions nevertheless rely on a specific keyword search or ‘tagging,’ which are cumbersome at best and disheartening at worst.
More solutions are geared towards solving the ever-growing requirement for enterprise search engines, but investing and deploying such systems are easily de-prioritized as businesses deem other investment pursuits more worthy of their capital financial funds.
However, the efficiency that an enterprise search engine system can provide any organization cannot be ignored, and those businesses that have (wisely) invested in them have common success factors that can make all the difference when deciding on the right solution.
Enterprise Search and Knowledge Management—What is the Connection?
Knowledge management is the process where valued information, which has been derived from business experience, is made available and accessible to everyone within an organization. For effective knowledge management to work, the combination of internal business data and external website-centered search tools play a vital role. Enterprise searching facilitates these data characteristics within a single search query. Therefore an enterprise search is both a key driver for and an adopter of a successful knowledge management system.
Why Has it Become So Important?
Obtaining information has never been more straightforward, and most enterprises are collecting data as part of their normal operations process. Optimizing data is as important (if not more so) as capturing and storing it because accessing what you need and how successful that process is will become an important KPI for assessing work productivity.
Various studies highlight the cost of knowledge search time for employees; the following are some key excerpts from the research findings:
- Study 1: An end-user can take up to seven searches to eventually find the right information or document (according to 85% of respondents).
- Study 2: On average, an end-user will allocate an estimated 25% of their working week managing and administering their e-mails and approximately 20% of their working week searching for internal documents or pursuing colleagues who can help with their specific tasks. This implies that the average employee will spend approximately 1.5 hours every working day searching for information from various sources just to be productive in their job tasks.
- Study 3: The actual cost to an organization of their employees not being able to source the right information can be significant. This total cost equates to substantial inefficiencies, which will hurt the bottom line or shareholder value.
Enterprise Searching – Best Practices
- Search Query Auto-Completion: Auto-suggest features improve the end-user experience of the enterprise search engine. Make sure to select a tool that offers a list of possible—and relevant—completed words and key phrases when an end-user commences typing what they are searching for.
- Searching Analytics: Accumulating search query data from end-users so that you can obtain insights concerning your search engine performance and the key topics that have been researched by your end-users. Basically, disassembling and analyzing the queries, exactly how many, and by whom, and when (plus a lot more).
- Evaluate the Team’s Capabilities to Successfully Deploy: Assess the capabilities of your internal business teams to successfully deploy an enterprise search engine solution—and periodic optimization operational exercises post-implementation. If you have doubts about them being able to do so, outsource this key technology project to an experienced third-party integration specialist to support your organization in implementing the solution.
Enterprise search engine technology has successfully progressed over time. Searching technology grew thanks to the Internet and the innovation provided by tech giants such as Google and Microsoft. It has grown to become an influential component of our everyday life.
Technical companies are heavily investing in enterprise search engine technologies, and new features and concepts have been developed over time, from voice-driven activated searching to the adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Their investment is primarily due to the growing marketplace where companies realize the efficiencies, they can make by adopting them. There is no doubt that this is a relatively new field, and it will continue to expand, refine and even surprise us as the opportunities to extend enterprise search engine technology are endless. We can expect great advances to occur in the enterprise search engine field and for many years to come.