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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.

Published in: Technology
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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
  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
  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 presentations available + EUROPE + NORTH AMERICA
  56. 56. Mattias +46 703 326932