Search has been steadily climbing up the attention ladder in many European organizations in recent years, according to Martin White, Conference Chair of Enterprise Search Europe which takes place in London on May 15-16. He identifies a number of reasons for this, ranging from a recognition of the power of open source search applications, the enhanced search functionality in SharePoint 2013, the fact that Big Data initiatives are causing organizations to look at wider issues of information discovery, and the need to improve user experience.
"Organizations are finding out that treating search implementation as a short-term project does not result in long-term benefits," argues White. "There is a continuing need to look at content quality, search logs and user satisfaction surveys to ensure that both internal search applications and also web site search meet changes in user requirements. For these reasons, ensuring that the search team is suitably resourced is a key issue in getting the best return from an investment in technology."
Keynote speaker Ed Dale will address exactly this topic. As Ernst & Young's enterprise search product manager, Dale works to improve search both technically and from a user's perspective. His keynote speech aims to give delegates a process which they can adopt and use to improve the performance of their search applications, focusing on what he describes as ‘the six drivers for search quality'. These are: indexing the correct content; improving content findability; search engine algorithm tuning; search result UI improvement; contextual relevancy, and pervasive search experience. "Although search conferences inevitably have a technology focus," says Martin White, "this keynote is about how to get the best out of your search application by listening to the feedback from users and building up a highly experienced search team. Many people want their search application to ‘be like Google' and that is what Ed has been able to achieve without using Google."
Highlights of the conference include Sweden's Kristian Norling who will reveal the outcomes of the second year of the Findwise Findability survey. This global survey seeks to give an insight into the current state of search implantation from both a business and technology perspective. What do search managers around the world see as opportunities?