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Intelligent Search [May 2012]

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Intelligent Search: What Are You Looking For?

"Seek and ye shall find..." Yeah, right. Maybe about half the time, if you're lucky. It's true that most searches end in failure. And what's even more troubling is that the person making the search may never know that it was a failure. Let's say: A hypothetical knowledge worker enters a search query. May be a good one; may be a vague one. Doesn't (and shouldn't) matter. Then that person gets a results page. There is a long list of possible answers to his query, and there might even be some interesting stuff on it.
But the nagging doubt comes from "not knowing what you don't know"...

Picking the Right Category of KM Software

Done right, KM can deliver tremendous value to customer service and support. Yet for all the benefits, the software category is marked by confusion—many very different solutions purport to be "KM." Knowledge is in people's heads, and it's hard to capture, even assuming they wanted to share. Knowledge is scattered in many places; it can be stale, and hard to find. To address these challenges, KM tools need to provide one-stop shopping for answers, wherever they are. Capturing knowledge must be easy. And managers need analytics to continually improve the knowledgebase and team performance. Different solution categories take very different approaches to these requirements. . . .

Intelligent Search—Making the Most of Metadata

Search is a conversation. If you ask me a question and I don't understand, I can ask you for more information. With time you learn more about my interests, and can give better answers. Well-designed, intelligent search systems can do the same. We can facilitate this dialog by addressing three critical requirements for effective search. These are:
1. Search needs to feel like navigation;
2. Search needs to be personal; and
3. Search needs to be adaptive, improving over time. . . .

Multi-Dimensional Search: Powering Data Discovery

It is a true, yet frequently repeated, cliché to say that we are living in an age of total data overload. Individuals and businesses seem to be on a never-ending search to dig through this data to find meaningful information. Struggling with multiple silos of data, dealing with structured and unstructured sources, understanding their contents and finding and correlating data all remain key priorities. Today, most businesses constrain themselves to search along a single dimension or rely on keyword or pattern-based full text search.
A new chapter is emerging in search—turning the data overload into a mother lode of opportunities in boundless search for real information. . . .

Analytics Adds Intelligence to Search

We are well aware of the productive gains with faster search. The new frontier is to improve the quality and insights from search, achieved from integration of search with analytics.
Enterprise solutions are well practiced at extracting information from structured data. Search is designed to aggregate unstructured information from keywords and a wide variety of sources like emails, social blogs, etc. Merging structured stores with unstructured text derives meaningful, relevant summarizations as well as new insights. Analytics dissolves the barrier, providing integration founded on the data content itself—driving more complete and accurate intelligence for business users. . . .

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