Kristian Norling

About Kristian Norling

Dad, husband, learner, foodie and snowboarder. I try hard to listen.

Presentation: Enterprise Search and Findability in 2013

This was presented 8 November at J. Boye 2012 Conference in Aarhus, Denmark, by Kristian Norling.

Presentation Summary

There is a lot of talk about social, big data, cloud, digital workplace and semantic web. But what about search, is there anything interesting happening within enterprise search and findability? Or is enterprise search dead?

In the spring of 2012,  we conducted a global survey on Enterprise Search and Findability. The resulting report based on the answers from survey tells us what the leading practitioners are doing and gives guidance for what you can do to make your organisation’s enterprise search and findability better in 2013.

This presentation will give you a sneak peak into the near future and trends of enterprise search, based on data form the survey and what the leaders that are satisfied with their search solutions do.

Topics on Enterprise Search

  •  Help me! Content overload!
  • The importance of context
  • Digging for gold with search analytics
  • What has trust to do with enterprise search?
  • Social search? Are you serious?
  • Oh, and that mobile thing

Tutorial: Optimising Your Content for Findability

This tutorial was done on the 6th of November at J. Boye 2012 conference in Aarhus Denmark. Tutorial was done by Kristian Norling.

Findability and Your Content

As the amount of content continues to increase, new approaches are required to provide good user experiences. Findability has been introduced as a new term among content strategists and information architects and is most easily explained as:

“A state where all information is findable and an approach to reaching that state.”

Search technology is readily used to make information findable, but as many have realized technology alone is unfortunately not enough. To achieve findability additional activities across several important dimensions such as business, user, information and organisation are needed.

Search engine optimisation is one aspect of findability and many of the principles from SEO works in a intranet or website search context. This is sometimes called Enterprise Search Engine Optimisation (ESEO). Getting findability to work well for your website or intranet is a difficult task, that needs continuos work. It requires stamina, persistence, endurance, patience and of course time and money (resources).

Tutorial Topics

In this tutorial you will take a deep dive into the many aspects of findability, with some good practices on how to improve findability:

  • Enterprise Search Engines vs Web Search
  • Governance
  • Organisation
  • User involvement
  • Optimise content for findability
  • Metadata
  • Search Analytics

Brief Outline

We will start some very brief theory and then use real examples and also talk about what organisations that are most satisfied with their findability do.

Experience level

Participants should have some intranet/website experience. A basic understanding of HTML, with some previous work with content management will make your tutorial experience even better. A bonus if you have done some Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for public websites.

Presentation: Enterprise Search – Simple, Complex and Powerful

Every second, more and more information is created and stored in various applications. corporate websites, intranets, SharePoint sites, document management systems, social platforms and many more – inside the firewall the growth of information is similar to that of the internet. However, even though major players on the web have shown that navigation can’t compete with search, the Enterprise Search and Findability Report shows that most organisations have only a small or even a non-existing budget for search.

Web Search and Enterprise Search

Web search engines like Google has made search look easy. For enterprise search, some vendors give promises of a magic box. Buy a search engine, plug it in and wait for the magic to happen! Imagine the disappointment when both search results and performance are poor and users can’t find what they are looking for…

When you start planning your enterprise search project you soon realize the complexity and challenge – how do you meet the expectations created by Google?

The Presentation

This presentation was originally presented at the joint NSW KM Forum and IIM September event in Sydney, Australia by Mattias Brunnert. It contains topics as:

  • Why search is important and how to measure success
  • Why Enterprise Search and Information Management should be friends
  • How to kick off your search program

Presentation: The Why and How of Findability

“The Why and How of Findability” presented by Kristian Norling at the ScanJour Kundeseminar in Copenhagen, 6 September 2012. We can make information findable with good metadata. The metadata makes it possible to create browsable, structured and highly findable information. We can make findability (and enterprise search) better by looking at findability in five different dimensions.

Five dimensions of Findability

1. BUSINESS – Build solutions to support your business processes and goals

2. INFORMATION – Prepare information to make it findable

3. USERS – Build usable solutions based on user needs

4. ORGANISATION – Govern and improve your solution over time

5. SEARCH TECHNOLOGY – Build solutions based on state-of-the-art search technology

Enterprise Search and Findability discussions at World Cafe in Oslo

Yesterday we (Kristian Hjelseth and Kristian Norling) participated in a great World Cafe event arranged by Steria in Norway. We did a Pecha Kucha inspired presentation (scroll down to the bottom of this blog post for the presentation) to introduce the subject of Enterprise Search and Findability and how to work more efficiently with the help of enterprise search. Afterwards there was a set of three round-table workshop with practitioners, where search related issues were discussed. We found the discussions very interesting, so we thought we should share some of the topics with a broader audience.

The attendees had answered a survey before coming to the World Cafe. In which 83,3% stated that finding the right information was critical for their business goals. But only 20,3% were satisfied with their current search solution, because 75% said it was hard or very hard to find the right information. More stats from a global survey on enterprise search that asked the same questions.

Unified Search

To have all the information that you would like to find in the same search was deemed very important for findability by the participants. The experience of search is that the users don’t know what to search for, but to make it even worse, they do not know where to look for the information! This is also confirmed by the Enterprise Search and Findability Survey that was done earlier this year. The report is available for download.

Trust

Google web search always comes up as an example of what “just works”. And it does work because they found a clever algorithm, PageRank, that basically measures the trustworthiness of information. Since PageRank is heavily dependent on inbound links this way of measuring trust is probably not going to work on an intranet where cross-referencing is not as common based on our experience. Most of the time it is not even possible to link stuff on the intranet, since the information is not accessible through http. Read more about it in this great in-depth article series on the difference between web search and enterprise search by Mark Bennet.

So how can we make search inside the firewall as good as web search? I think by connecting the information to the author. Trust builds between people based on their views of others. Simply put, someone has the authority over her peers either through rank (=organisation chart) or through trust. The trustworthiness can be based on the persons ability to connect to other people (we all probably know someone who knows “everyone”) or we trust someone based on the persons knowledge. More reading on the importance of trust in organisations. How to do this in practice? Some ideas in this post by BIll Ives. Also a good read: “How social is Enterprise Search?” by Jed Cawthorne. And finally another good post to read.

Metadata

By adding relevant metadata to information, we can make it more findable. There was discussions on the importance of strict and controlled metadata and how to handle user tagging. For an idea on how to think about metadata, read a blog post on how VGR used metadata by Kristian Norling.

Search Analytics

Before you start to do any major work with your current enterprise search solution, look at the search log files and analyze the data. You might be surprised in what you find. Search analytics is great if you want insight into what the user expects to find when they search. Watch this video for an introduction to Search Analytics in Practice.

Other subjects

  • Access control and transparency
  • Who owns search?
  • Who owns the information?
  • Personalization of search results
All these subjects and many more were discussed at the workshops, but that will have to wait for another blog post!
As always, your thoughts and comments are most welcome!

The Enterprise Search and Findability Report 2012 is ready

No strategy, no budget, no resources. This is the common scenario for enterprise search and findability in many organisations today. Still Enterprise Search is considered a critical success factor in 75% of organisations that responded to the global survey that ran from March to May this year.

The Enterprise Search and Findability Report 2012 is now ready for download.

The Enterprise Search and Findability report 2012 shows that 60% of the respondents expressed that it is very/moderately hard to find the right information. Only 11% stated that it is fairly easy to search for information and as few as 3% consider it very easy to find the desirable information. This shows that there still is a large untapped potential for any organisation to get great value from investing in enterprise search. For a relatively small investment, preferably in personnel it is possible to make search a lot better. The survey also reveals that  organisations who are very satisfied with their search, have a (larger) budget, more resources and systematically work with analysing search.

What is your primary goal for utilising search technology in your organisation?Figure. What is your primary goal for utilising search technology in your organisation?

The primary goal for using search is to accelerate retrieval of known information sources, 91%, and to improve the re-use of content (information/knowledge), 72%. This indicates that often search within organisations is used as a discovery tool for what already is known. If looking over the next three years, as many as 77% think that the amount of information in the organisation will increase. This means that every year it will be even more important be able to find the right information and that means Enterprise search is still very much needed, as stated in the following great presentations (on video):  Why Business Success Depends on Enterprise Search (by Martin White of Intranet Focus) and The Enterprise Search Market – What should be on your radar? (by Alan Pelz-Sharpe of 451 Research)

Download the full report.

Video and results from the Enterprise Search and Findability Survey

More than 200 people, primarily from Europe and North America, have responded to the Enterprise Search and Findability survey, providing a unique insight into how search is currently being managed, or rather is not being managed, in the best interest of the organisation. However, to get a deeper understanding in how search is used and managed at a regular basis in an enterprise context, search vendors and integrators have been excluded in this report, resulting in 170 unique responses from 28 countries globally.

A few findings

The survey has shown that the majority of the respondents find it difficult to find relevant information within the organization. To be more precise, 59.5 % of the respondents expressed that it is very/moderately hard to find the right information. Only 11.2% stated that it is fairly easy to search for information and as few as 2.8 % consider it very easy to find the desirable information. The ease of finding the right information clearly has a connection with the size of the organization. When looking at organizations with less than 1000 employees, one can see that 30.9% of the respondents feel that it is moderately/very hard to find the right information, while the corresponding percentage for organizations with 1001 or more employees is 77.3%.

The larger the organisation, the more information, and the more cumbersome it is to search and use the right information at the right time.

Video

Kristian Norling presents the findings from the global survey on Enterprise Search implementations. Presented at Enterprise Search Summit #ESS12 in New York, Enterprise Search Europe #ESEU in London, #IKS Workshop in Salzburg and Findability Day 2012 #findday12 in Stockholm. The slides are available here.

Video: Introducing Hydra – An Open Source Document Processing Framework

Introducing Hydra – An Open Source Document Processing Framework from presented at Lucene Revolution hosted on Vimeo.

Presented by Joel Westberg, Findwise AB
This presentation details the document-processing framework called Hydra that has been developed by Findwise. It is intended as a description of the framework and the problem it aims to solve. We will first discuss the need for scalable document processing, outlining that there is a missing link between the open source chain to bridge the gap between source system and the search engine, then will move on to describe the design goals of Hydra, as well as how it has been implemented to meet those demands on flexibility, robustness and ease of use. This session will end by discussing some of the possibilities that this new pipeline framework can offer, such as freely seamlessly scaling up the solution during peak loads, metadata enrichment as well as proposed integration with Hadoop for Map/Reduce tasks such as page rank calculations.