Results from Enterprise Search and Findability Survey 2013

Although data is growing rapidly information is still difficult to find in most organizations. That is the most obvious conclusion from our annual global Enterprise Search and Findability Survey. 64 percent of respondents from organizations with more than 1000 employees say it is difficult to find the right information internally. Surprising since 79 percent think it is of high importance. But there are some good news too, 36 percent of respondents have a search strategy in place and 38 percent plan to implement one.

A recent report by European Union’s Joint Research Centre called “Enterprise Search in the European Union: A Techno-economic Analysis” found two main reasons for adopting a strategy for Enterprise Search; the growth in data generation and a more worrying one – the fact that this huge amount of information is largely unstructured. An estimated 80% of the information stored is either unstructured or has no adequate metadata for the needs of employees.

The survey findings show the need for enterprises to adopt enterprise search solutions to overcome the burden of information overload which faces the knowledge workers of today’s organizations. Not finding information, or even worse, finding the wrong information is still the reality for most organizations. Companies may be sitting on a considerable stock of digital assets but still being unable to capture and value from them.

Get budget for search

McKinsey & Company wrote an article recently, “Measuring the full impact of digital capital” saying that the need for growth and competitiveness will force companies to build strong digital capabilities. For those concerned about how to get funding for search I want to point out that the benefits from this investment are clear with improved quality in business decisions, increased efficiency and a more harmonized global offering as direct results. Much happier employees is a positive side effect.

Read more about the survey and download the report for free here!

Sign up now for seminars and courses this fall

Starting in September 2013 we have a number of upcoming seminars and trainings this fall. Before we go on holiday I want to take this opportunity to urge you to check them out.

Want to learn a practical approach to Sharepoint solution design?

September 9th we at Findwise open our doors to a master class suitable for anyone who is struggling with matters of findability and content strategy regardless of platform – social, mobile or traditional web sites, internally or externally. For this occasion we have invited Seth Earley, a highly inspirational tutor and expert in the findability area who will share unique experiences and knowledge of how to use Sharepoint (SP 2013, SP 2010 and FAST for Sharepoint) information architecture to create business value.

Read more and register here!

By the way, if you are curious about search in Sharepoint 2013 you should check out these four previous blog posts which provide a good overview of the news in SP13 and a detailed description of a major new feature, query rules :

Query rules in Sharepoint 2013

Search in Sharepoint 2013

Cloud, mobile and social for Sharepoint 2013

Presentation on Enterprise search in Sharepoint 2013

Introduction to Enterprise Search

Are you new to enterprise search and want to know more? Then this introductory seminar is for you. You get to know how search works on your intranet or on your website. Ask your own questions and get them answered. At the moment there are three occasions to choose from but keep an eye on our website for updates.

The class consists of two 45 minute blocks. Some of the topics covered are:

  • Why is search important?
  • How does a search engine work?
  • The difference between search on the internet and on your intranet
  • What is important if I want search to work well.
  • What is metadata? And what is it good for?
  • Five dimensions of findability
  • Organization, measuring, monitoring and actions

Read more and register here!

Solr training – “Solr unleashed”

Findwise also regularly hosts training in Solr. Solr Unleashed is a 2-day instructor-led, hands-on classroom-training course designed and developed by the engineers that helped write the Lucene/Solr code. This course is offered by Findwise in co-operation with Lucid imagination. Our Lucid certified instructors have successfully trained around 80 people so far. They regularly hold courses in Stockholm and London but would be happy to visit your premises upon request.

Read more about our Solr training here!

 

Have a great summer!

Impressions from Findability Day 2013

We at Findwise host Findability Day to raise awareness of the importance of enterprise search and search in business, big data and to share best practices in implementation and management as well as inform about technology developments. Attending and being part of Findability Day this year was a real energy boost for all of us at Findwise. We were about 200 attendants all with focus on search and big data.

On stage, we had some very inspiring presentations. Martin White explaining the journey of search and pointing out its future direction showed how the principles of search have been around for decades. What we use it for and how we approach it is key along with enabling technology. Martin has also written a blog post about his impressions from the event, read it here.

Ravi Mynampaty of Harvard Business School showed how the search journey has evolved within Harvard Business School. One take away was the importance of step by step implementation and ensuring satisfied stakeholders along the way. Christian Finstad of Meltwater explained how they connected business values with technology to convince their clients. I think an internal decision within an organization needs similar argumentation in order to win acceptance.

Johan Johansson gave a thorough presentation about the search project at the Municipality of Norrköping. This was a tight budget project with strong deliverables. One thing to remember from Johan was his talk about “you need to try it out yourself – do the most common searches and experience it”.

DJ Skillman from Splunk, Troels Walsted Hansen from Microsoft and Daniel Bergqvist from Google gave some interesting insights into new technologies. How Splunk can be used to just harvest every imaginable data type, just bring it in and worry about using it later. How Google want to align enterprise search with consumer search and Microsofts Facebook inspired developments within graph search.

We also had some great breakout sessions with Jonas Berg, Svensk Byggtjänst who showed us their partner search application, Martin Öhléen, SKF who talked about mobility, Sebastian Forseland, Husqvarna who gave an expert lecture on master data management and Niclas Lillman&Nicklas Eriksson, Scania who talked about their journey towards a common search solution for all their knowledge workers.

If you weren’t there or if you just want to see it again we have posted videos of the presentations and most of the slides here.

We would like to thank everybody who came to the event – you made it a real success. A big thanks also goes out to our sponsors Google and Splunk who made this event possible.

The networking possibilities at the location were great and really demonstrated how the Search industry is growing.  We are very happy with the event but there is of course always room for improvement for next year. Make sure to be there!

Big data and cloud solutions at Atea Bootcamp

After attending the very well organized and inspiring event Atea Bootcamp 2013 I want to share some of what was said about big data and about the cloud.

Data is the new oil

On the topic of big data Atea had several speakers, one of which was Niklas Andersson, the Swedish CEO of Cisco who talked about the internet of everything. With more and more devices connected to the Internet the modern world produces massive amounts of data that, to a large extent, is unstructured and transient. It comes from a variety of sources and types – as text, video, geospatial data, information captured by a sensor in a plant or a vehicle, or from social interaction via the web. One might argue that big data is nothing new, that it is just a buzz word summarizing what has been going on for many years. However, even though we already have a perception of Big data and ideas about how to handle it and use it, we are still just scraping at the surface of what will come. According to Mr Andersson 99 percent of what could be connected to the Internet still remains to be connected. What happens when we start connecting all those things? A mind blowing perspective that makes a good case for IBMs statement that data is the new oil. For us at Findwise this is of course a highly interesting field where our knowledge can be put to good use. We recently joined Spotify among others in a big data analytics research project led by SICS. Read more about it here.

Findability in the cloud

Steve Dietch, Vice president of HP Worldwide Cloud, gave an insight into the developments of cloud services and the driving forces that control IT decision makers. According to him their customers usually have two main concerns about moving into the cloud; security and choice. Security is an obvious issue and for some organizations there are regulatory aspects to it as well. The aspect of choice has to do with the pace of development and uncertainty about which vendors will dominate the field in the future and what will become industry standards. IT departments everywhere are afraid of vendor lock in. Putting all your data in the hands of an external supplier is understandably a scary concept. What happens if you want to move it? What about how it is organized? I see an obvious case for state of the art search solutions to help handling some of these issues and to relieve some of the worries from IT departments that their data will get lost. With good findability it will not matter where it is stored or which vendor provides the cloud solution.

In conclusion, big data is big business and even though different aspects of it make for different definitions of the concept it is undeniably going to have a huge impact on all of us.

Update on Findability Day 2013

Findability Day 2013 is just a few weeks away and the agenda is now finalized. We will have great keynote speakers and cases for inspiration and of course the approximately 200 attendees will create a valuable networking opportunity.

The event takes place in Stockholm on May 30th and as organizers of the event we are proud to present the following list of speakers and topics:

Martin White – The future of search

Daniel Bergqvist, Google – The Star Trek Computer

Bjørn Olstad, Microsoft – Unveil the hidden values in your organization

Ravi Mynampaty, Harvard Business School – Developing a Search & Findability Practice for the Enterprise 

Kristian Norling, Findwise – The 2013 Findability Survey

Sebastian Forseland, Husqvarna – Master Data management + Enterprise Search = User Satisfaction

Christian Finstad, Meltwater – Big data for online insight

Martin Öhléen, SKF – Search as a driver in Mobile applications

Jonas Berg, Svensk Byggtjänst – The next generation business search engine

Johan Johansson, Municipality of Norrköping – Governance and the role of search in user satisfaction

Niclas Lillman, Scania – Search as a service

DJ Skillman, Senior Director Technical Services, Splunk – Big data

Check out the agenda here for more details and for registration. There are just a few seats left so make sure to register today!

It promises to be a great event and a day full of inspiration, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities to help develop your business, personal skills and professional network.

Hope to see you there!

Why search and Findability is critical for the customer experience and NPS on websites

To achieve a high NPS, Net Promoter Score, the customer experience (cx) is crucial and a critical factor behind a positive customer experience is the ease of doing business. For companies who interact with their customers through the web (which ought to be almost every company these days) this of course implies a need to have good Findability and search on the website in order for visitors to be able to find what they are looking for without effort.

The concept of NPS was created by Fred Reichheld and his colleagues of Bain and Co who had an increasing recognition that measuring customer satisfaction on its own wasn’t enough to make conclusions of customer loyalty. After some research together with Satmetrix they came up with a single question that they deemed to be the only relevant one for predicting business success “How likely are you to recommend company X to a friend or colleague.” Depending upon the answer to that single question, using a scale of 0 to 10, the respondent would be considered one of the following:

net-promoter

The Net Promoter Score model

The idea is that Promoters—the loyal, enthusiastic customers who love doing business with you—are worth far more to your company than passive customers or detractors. To obtain the actual NPS score the percentage of Detractors is deducted from the percentage of Promoters.

How the customer experience drives NPS

Several studies indicate four main drivers behind NPS:

  • Brand relationship
  • Experience of / satisfaction with product offerings (features; relevance; pricing)
  • Ease of doing business (simplicity; efficiency; reliability)
  • Touch point experience (the degree of warmth and understanding conveyed by front-line employees)

According to ‘voice of the customer’ research conducted by British customer experience consultancy Cape Consulting the ease of doing business and the touch point experience accounts for 60 % of the Net Promoter Score, with some variations between different industry sectors. Both factors are directly correlated to how easy it is for customers to find what they are looking for on the web and how easily front-line employees can find the right information to help and guide the customer.

Successful companies devote much attention to user experience on their website but when trying to figure out how most visitors will behave website owners tend to overlook the search function. Hence visitors who are unfamiliar with the design struggle to find the product or information they are looking for causing unnecessary frustration and quite possibly the customer/potential customer runs out of patience with the company.

Ideally, Findability on a company website or ecommerce site is a state where desired content is displayed immediately without any effort at all. Product recommendations based on the behavior of previous visitors is an example but it has limitations and requires a large set of data to be accurate. When a visitor has a very specific query, a long tail search, the accuracy becomes even more important because there will be no such thing as a close enough answer. Imagine a visitor to a logistics company website looking for information about delivery times from one city to another, an ecommerce site where the visitor has found the right product but wants to know the company’s return policy before making a purchase or a visitor to a hospital’s website looking for contact details to a specific department. Examples like these are situations where there is only one correct answer and failure to deliver that answer in a simple and reliable manner will negatively impact the customer experience and probably create a frustrated visitor who might leave the site and look at the competition instead.

Investing in search have positive impacts on NPS and the bottom line 

Google has taught people how to search and what to expect from a search function. Step one is to create a user friendly search function on your website but then you must actively maintain the master data, business rules, relevance models and the zero-results hits to make sure the customer experience is aligned. Also, take a look at the keywords and phrases your visitors use when searching. This is useful business intelligence about your customers and it can also indicate what type of information you should highlight on your website. Achieving good Findability on your website requires more than just the right technology and modern website design. It is an ongoing process that successfully managed can have a huge impact on the customer experience and your NPS which means your investment in search will generate positive results on your bottom line.

More posts on this topic will follow.

/Olof Belfrage

Welcome to Findability Day 2013

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the biggest search event in Northern Europe focusing entirely on how to find and display corporate information.

Last year we took the first steps towards creating a new industry event for everyone interested in search and findability. This year we are taking it to the next level!

The agenda is work in progress but we can promise a day full of inspiration, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities to help develop your business, personal skills and professional network.

The event takes place in Stockholm on May 30th. For more details check out the event here.

Hope to see you there!

Finding the right information requires finding the right talent

At Findwise we are experts in helping organizations setting up systems to find their corporate information and presenting it in every way imaginable. But we are not only good at finding the right information, we must also be good at finding the right people to come work for us.

The people working here are highly skilled consultants within different areas such as business consulting, information management, text analytics, user experience, system design etc. They all have two things in common; they were handpicked to work here because of their unique expertise and passion for search technology and they could all easily have chosen to work someplace else.

Our way of finding these people is based on the notion that talent attracts talent. That means in order to find new talented people we must make the ones who are already working here thrive and come to work each day filled with joy and anticipation. That creates the ripple effect we need to compete for talent with the giants of the IT industry.

How do we accomplish that? Well, talented people must be respected as equals and be given the freedom to create and innovate. You don’t hire a talent to tell him or her exactly how to do what they are talented at. That would be like hiring Michael Jackson and then telling him how to write a hit song. We want our talented people to feel encouraged to act independently and bravely, that is how their talents best are put to use for Findwise and our clients.

Within the corporate world today these are still surprisingly uncommon ideas and two of the major daily newspapers in Sweden have both written about our approach to management, an article in SvD last fall and one recently in Dagens Nyheter.

To summarize the news, Findwise approach to management is to continue to uphold an open, trusting environment with a flat corporate structure, in which flexible working hours, freedom and own responsibility are principal. »Use your own judgment« is the golden rule which encourages a fighting spirit and the desire to develop new ideas.

We gladly walk this talk. And it has paid off so far. We are now employing more than 90 people, have managed more than 700 client projects and have enjoyed steady and profitable growth since the start in 2005. We are well on our way towards becoming a world-leading enterprise in our field, and it is all thanks to the talented people who work here.

/Olof Belfrage