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  • July 8, 2019
  • By John Chmaj Senior Practice Director of Knowledge Management, Verint Global Consulting Services
  • Article

Four Tips for Evaluating Search Tools

  1. Interactivity—How knowledge tools generate and process a sense of a “session” to progressively refine and develop the best expression of a request and potential range of answers.

The proliferation of voice-activated tools, mobile apps and interactive technologies has created a new generation of request/answer experiences far beyond the traditional search bar. Users are expecting to have more conversational-style interactions with search tools. They now ask questions in natural language, are prompted for clarifying information, and can be guided to the best set of resources or knowledge through their responses. These capabilities frame a new paradigm that continuously develops user context in actionable ways, to deliver information in text, database or article form depending on the expressed need.

Look for: Tools that interact in clear and flexible ways. Interactive voice assistants have become the vogue for this model, but they’re not all the same. Can an interactive tool process a wide variety of expressed user needs/questions? Can it process the context implied by the request to reason deeply, support extended conversational interaction, and deliver highly accurate responses? 

While the intelligence of various types of search technologies has developed exponentially over the past decade, the core mission and evaluation criteria remains fundamentally the same. Can users express their needs to a knowledge tool, as they understand it, and quickly navigate to the best possible answer efficiently and intuitively? Strong toolsets will respond effectively to these two basic goals, which have always been at the core of KM: the ability to express an information need, and get a fast, accurate and useful response.


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