Changing the Approach to Enterprise Search: Horse First

October 28, 2013

Pebble Road’s article analyzing search is titled The Curse of Enterprise Search and How to Break It. The curse referred to is created by the misconception that once an enterprise search software has been purchased it will do all the work and the business it is being used for is already handled. The article argues against this lackadaisical approach to search, explaining that search needs to be implemented and designed for a given business with the business’s users in mind. It argues that “search is a negotiation” which is not simply a means to an end but a way to figure out the right question. The article explains with a comparison to camera shopping,

“When you’re searching for a camera, and if you don’t know exactly which one you want, you’re going to start on a search journey, or the negotiation. The journey may take you from locating the right type of cameras ? to comparing them ? to verifying their details. These three modes are not the same. You are seeking different outcomes in each mode. The modes are like layers of meaning. Meaning that will eventually lead you to make a decision.”

Metadata and appropriate interfaces are the answer proposed by the article to designing support search modes that will be useful and productive. The greatest issue is when there is a growing crevasse between the wealth of information and findability. To simplify, don’t put the cart before the horse. Design search for your business and then put in place.

Chelsea Kerwin, October 28, 2013

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