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Quintessentially search, no matter what the terminology

This article appears in the issue November/December 2017, [Volume 26, Issue 9]
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Pharmaceutical development is a heavily data-centric activity that can benefit from that type of proactive discovery. “Companies are trying to get drugs to market as soon as possible, and many people in large research organizations write papers that document their knowledge. Often, they don’t have time to update their profiles,” Parker adds, “but Sinequa can monitor what they are producing and infer what subjects they are experts in.” The scientists can then receive notifications about colleagues who are doing similar or complementary work, which can greatly facilitate collaboration.

Relevant results

Although taxonomies in some cases have become less essential, they are well established in certain fields such as life sciences and pharmaceuticals, because the fields have a detailed structure and specific terminology. “All search engines can load a taxonomy so you can tag the content,” says Bryan McKay, engagement manager at Onix. “In science, people are creating and curating content and it’s a disciplined field by definition.” Onix develops search applications using several platforms, including those from Google, Mindbreeze and Lucidworks Fusion, an open core platform.

In other fields, the pace of change may be so rapid that it becomes difficult to maintain a taxonomy. “A taxonomy can still help,” McKay adds, “but if the rate of change is so rapid that you can’t keep up, as can happen in high-tech fields, it may always be out of date. Cognitive search can analyze parts of speech and other components of language to help determine both the searcher’s intent and the topics related to content, increasing the relevancy of results.”

Enterprise customers often say they want their enterprise search to work like Google. “What they mean is that they want the information they need to show up right at the top of the search results.” That demand has required vendors to improve the capabilities of enterprise search, even though enterprise content is generally much more complex than Web content. “Google spent a lot of time figuring out algorithms that would push the right content to the top,” McKay says. “Eventually enterprise search companies discovered they needed to create a better experience and began to improve usability in the form of natural language and cognitive search.”

In spring 2017, Google announced the first iteration of its cloud-based search platform, Google Cloud Search. “This solution pulls information from your calendar, contacts, email and documents and surfaces relevant information in the moment (for example, related to upcoming events),” McKay explains. That proactive search will expedite the delivery of personalized and correctly timed information in the context of the user’s daily work life. “That is a perfect example of the power and promise of cognitive search,” he concludes.

Today’s search is providing a progressively richer and more informative experience. Users can now see in one interface all the relevant information about a customer, a product or a research topic. In the age of big data, the growing number of data types and ever-increasing demand for rapid access to and understanding of content, search will only become more essential.


 

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