Enterprise Search in Practice: A Presentation of Survey Results and Areas for Expert Guidance


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The presentation has two main focuses. First, to present some interesting and sometimes rather contradicting findings from the Enterprise Search and Findability survey 2012. Second, to introduce an holistic approach to implementing search technology involving five different aspects that are all important to succeed and to reach findability rather than just the ability to search.

Presented at Gilbane Conference 2012 in Boston USA on the 28th of November by Mattias Ellison.

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  • To get a better understanding of the typical organisations approach to Enterprise Search and Findability, we conducted a survey with the goal of helping to understand what the business value of an Enterprise Search solution can be.
  • Fairly small data set from NAMostly referering to Global numberunlessreasontohighlightdifferencesWould be greatifpeople in the audiancewould like tocontributeI’llsendaroundthesedeckofregistrstioncards, tearoneout as a reminderto go to the address and sign-up. Wewill make sure thatyyou get access to the full report from 2012.
  • The ease of finding the right information clearly has a connection with the size of the organisation. When looking at organisations with less than 1,000 employees, one can see that 31% of the respondents feel that it is moderately/very hard to find the right information, while the corresponding percentage for organisations with 1,001 or more employees is 77%.
  • Slightly less dissatisfiedLargerawarenessof the importanceof metadata
  • Thismightgiveyou an indicationof theresult…
  • About 50% dissatisfiedNearly half of the respondents (44%) were mostly or very dissatisfied with their search application. These numbers are consistent with what has been previously published in Digital Workplace Trends 2012 report by Jane McConnell: “Forty percent of leadership class organisations are not satisfied with their search configuration and results. Dissatisfaction is higher for the other organisations and is over 50 percent.”
  • The faultdoes not laywith the technology; rathermost organisations havefailedtotake a strategic approach toenterprisefindability.In the EMC sponsored IDC report ”Extracting Value from Chaos” from June 2011: “In 2011, the amount of information created and replicated will surpass 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes) --‐ growing by a factor of 9 in just five years.” And 90% ofthat information is unstructured
  • When all dimensions are considered, we label the result a search-driven Findability solution – not only allowing users to search and pull information from the system but also using the ability of search technology to personalise and bring intelligence to the system by pushing information to the users and ensure that they have access to the information that they need!This is what we call Findability by Findwise.
  • In organisations with less than 1,000 employees, 47% stated that finding the right information is critical to the business goals and success, whereas in organisations with more than 1,000 employees, the level was 79%.
  • Developing a findability strategy is a first step towards turning the information overload into an information asset and moving from a search box on the intranet to full‐fledged enterprise findability. Even though the problem is huge, it is still only a small proportion of companies that utilise the potential benefits from today's search technology.
  • Genericgoals, needto be tailoredto the application
  • 30% planning for a strategy in 2012/13Essentially a strategy is a good vehicle to plan, prioritise and make informed decisions regarding search investments and consequently get an adequate budget to reach the desired effects stated in the search strategy
  • The dissatisfaction with search drops to 30% for those organisations with a dedicated budget for search. In the VSWCS (67%) and MSWCS (59%) groups a large majority has a budget. And 71% of the organisations without a strategy also have no budget.
  • Example KPIs:Monthly usage statsUser Satisfaction% top search terms managedCall center calls deflectedSearch rephrasingProductivity gainSearch Performance Indicator
  • ONLY 18.1% - does not correlate with ease‐of‐use being seen as important by77.5% (Imperative/Significant)When looking into the group who are very satisfied with their current search application, 50% do user testing regularly and 53% of those that are mostly satisfied with their search have done it at least once. This is a clear sign that user experience testing brings a better search experience and satisfaction.
  • “Garbage in, garbage out” – still remains
  • Those who have an owner of informationhave a tendency to be more satisfied with their search than those with no owner, where there is a tendency to be more dissatisfied with search This really points to what must be considered a real problem. The lack of ownership means that there is no one accountable for the existence, quality nor findability of business critical information.
  • Enterprise Search needs metadata to function well, and if the metadata is standardised throughout the organisation, it will be easier, not only to find the right information, but also to find related information. In the VSWCS group 83% has a metadata standard
  • Taxonomies are very useful for consistency in how to tag and classify content and that is very good for accurate search results. The chance of being presented with the right information for any given search increases. In the VSWCS group 67% has a taxonomy
  • Good number!In the VSWCS and MSWCS groups clearly do use search analytics and most look at all of the types of analysis stated in Figure 16. Type of documents searched forType of content sources searched forSearches from different geographical locationsSearch logs are matched with web logsWeb Analytics = User BehaviourSearch Analytics = User IntentWhile the very dissatisfied group only do look at 0--‐hits and most common terms
  • It seems that the VSWCS group do succeed better with search because they have about two people working with search 54% have a person or group that is responsible for analysing user behaviour and to make sure that search supports the business needs. In the VSWCS group a significantly higher number, 83%, have a group or person responsible.
  • To ensure that the organisation receives the desired effects from search (Figure 8) it is important to involve stakeholders from several parts of the business in the decisions regarding search investments and search--‐driven solutions. This fact is also acknowledged in the report “Establishing A Successful Enterprise Search Program” by Lynda Moulton Corporate Communications 29%
  • The faultdoes not laywith the technology; rathermost organisations havefailedtotake a strategic approach toenterprisefindability.
  • In the survey only 30,4% of all respondents have the same search technology inside the firewall as on the outside (this information will most likely be presented in a separate report). The conclusion to be made of this is that a lot of organisations have more than one search application in use and that in order to know find information the user must know where to look and search for information.
  • The faultdoes not laywith the technology; rathermost organisations havefailedtotake a strategic approach toenterprisefindability.
  • Enterprise Search and Findability is not a one-‐time project; it is an on-going effort that needs budget and resources. There is a discrepancy between investments made and the expectations of what Enterprise Search can deliver:Accelerate retrieval of known info sourcesImprove re-use of content (Information/ knowledge)Increase collaborationInterestingtohear the audience opinion?Lack ofownershipPoorconnectionto business goals/strategy (toomuch IT)?
  • VSWCS ; 67% taxonomy /83% metadata standard - Only 10% of the organisations that are very unsatisfied have either of those things in place. In the VSWCS,67% has a budget.
  • Hand-outcards!
  • Enterprise Search in Practice: A Presentation of Survey Results and Areas for Expert Guidance

    1. 1. GILBANE BOSTON 2012 Enterprise Search in Practice:A Presentation of Survey Results and Areas for Expert Guidance
    2. 2. Agenda • The Enterprise Search and Findability Survey • Survey results • From Search to Findability – A holistic approach • Concluding findings
    3. 3. • Founded 2005 in Sweden• Fast growing consultancy company• Focus on search and Findability solutions • Leverage business value with search technology• Technology independent – both proprietary and open source• Offices in the Nordic countries, Poland and Australia• +200 customers world-wide, US presence since 2011 (SF)
    5. 5. About the survey • Annual survey initiated in 2012 • Aimed at practitioners (with responsibility for search) • Increase understanding in the benefits, problems and trends in enterprise search • The 2013 survey will open in January/February
    6. 6. Survey respondents and demographics 2012• 170 respondents globally• 28 countries• Europe: 59.4% (101 respondents)• North America: 22.3% (38 respondents)• 60.8% > 1000 Employees• North America: 71.1% global orgs• Search vendors and integrators excludedHope to double the number of respondents in 2013!
    7. 7. SURVEY RESULTS 2012
    8. 8. Is it easy to find the right information within your organization today?
    9. 9. yeraze
    10. 10. 59.5% Moderately or very hard14.0% Fairly or very easy
    11. 11. Do you have multiplecontent repositories?
    12. 12. erikref
    13. 13. 50.7% Multiple repositories North America:63.6% Multiple repositories
    14. 14. What are the obstacles tofinding the right information?
    15. 15. nathansnider
    16. 16. 63.4% Poor Search Functionality50.0% Lack of adequate tags51.4% Inconsistency in how we tag content52.1% Dont know where to look
    17. 17. North America48.6% Poor Search Functionality62.9% Lack of adequate tags65.7% Inconsistency in how we tag content54.3% Dont know where to look
    18. 18. What is the level ofsatisfaction with search?
    19. 19. proimos
    20. 20. 19.6% Mostly or very satisfied
    21. 21. How to meet the search challenge? Hard to find information Multiple repositories Low awareness of where to look for information Poor search functionality Low satisfaction with searchWe need to address multiple aspects to reach Findability
    22. 22. Business - needs & goals Users - needs & capabilitiesSimple Search drivensearch Search technology - platform & functionality Findability Information - quality & structure Organisation - ownership & governance – a holistic approach to work and succeed with search
    23. 23. BUSINESS
    24. 24. How critical is finding the right information to your business goals and success? 75.0% Imperative or significant
    25. 25. Best Practice from the Business perspective • Identify and analyze Findability barriers related to existing business goals and strategies • Map application areas for search (e.g. intranet search, people search, product search) • Define clear Findability goals for search applications • Define targeted KPI’s and measure the solution effects • Establish an organization wide strategy and roadmap to guide and prioritize search investments Business - needs & goals
    26. 26. What’s the primary goal for utilizing search technology? 86.6% Accelerate retrieval of known information sources 70.6% Improve re-use of content (Information/ knowledge) 67.3% Increase collaboration
    27. 27. Do you have a search strategy in place? 14.2% Yes
    28. 28. Is there a budget for search?60.5% No or don’t know
    29. 29. Do you calculateROI/TCO for search? 62.1% No
    30. 30. Are there any KPIs for search? 58.6% No
    31. 31. USERS
    32. 32. Best Practice from the User perspective• Get to know your users and their Findabilty needs• Make sure your solution is easy to use• Perform continuous usability evaluations, like usage tests and expert evaluations• Make sure users find what they are looking for• Enable feedback loops for complaints, feedback and praise Users - needs & capabilities
    33. 33. Have you defined user targetgroups when designing yoursearch application interfaces? 30.5% Yes
    34. 34. Do you perform user experience tests?18.1% Regularly
    35. 35. Can users provide feedback? 72.3% Yes + Planned
    36. 36. INFORMATION
    37. 37. Best Practice from the Information perspective• Identify and analyze information sources to be integrated in search• Establish a content life cycle process to clean up, archive or delete outdated/irrelevant information• Establish taxonomies and a common metadata standard• Ensure Findability and good quality of information by adding structured and suitable metadata• Help publishers get started with processes for better findability Information - quality & structure
    38. 38. Is there an owner of information in your organization? 29.5% Yes
    39. 39. Is there a content lifecyclemanagement process in place? 52.9% No
    40. 40. Is there a standard for what metadata to use? North America 26.9% Yes23.1% Planned 2012/13
    41. 41. Do you have a taxonomy in place in the organization? 60% No
    42. 42. ORGANIZATION
    43. 43. Best Practice from the Organization perspective• Allocate resources!• Establish an organization to manage, maintain and develop search over time• Define processes and ownership for Business, Technical and Editorial governance• Perform Search Analytics to understand and act on user behavior• Create easy to use administration interfaces• Perform training, end-user and editorial Organisation - ownership & governance
    44. 44. Do you analyze search logs? 58.3% Yes
    45. 45. Number of employees working with search?50.4% Less than One North America29.0% Less than One
    46. 46. Who owns search? 57.6% ITNorth America: 78.8% IT
    47. 47. Who takes the final decision regarding search? 70.9% ITNorth America: 87.9% IT
    49. 49. Best Practice from the Technology perspective• Select a search platform that is aligned with business needs (search strategy)• Utilize the full potential of the selected platform• Design your architecture with the Findability roadmap in mind (search-as-a-service)• Avoid multiple search solutions (if possible) Search technology - platform & functionality
    50. 50. Do you use the same search solution both inside and outside the firewall? 30.4% Yes
    51. 51. Technology not featured in the 2012 report• In-depth technology questions included in the survey• Only 55% respondents• Too small data set to include in the 2012 report
    53. 53. CONTRADICTORY FINDINGS…The large majority state that…• Finding information is business critical• Users don’t know where to look for information• Search functionality is poor• Satisfaction with search is low…and yet there is often• No strategy• No budget• No resources …for search ?
    54. 54. LEADING ORGANIZATIONS what the Very Satisfied DOThe number of Full Time Equivalents (FTE) is 1-2 or more. 50% 67% do usage testing regularly have a taxonomy in place 84% 83% have feedback functionality have metadata standard
    55. 55. Sign-up and download reportSign-up to participate in the 2013 survey anddownload the full 2012 report:www.findwise.com/about-us/enterprise-search-and-findability-surveyAdditional presentations available at:Slideshare.net/FindwiseGlobal + EUROPE + NORTH AMERICA
    56. 56. Mattias Ellisonmattias.ellison@findwise.com +46 703 326932