Reaching Findability #3

Findability is surprisingly complex due to the large number of measures needed to be understood and undertaken. I believe that one of the principal challenges lies within the pedagogical domain. This is my third post in a series of simple tips for reaching Findability.

Link your information assets!

Often, the information needed to efficiently perform a certain task is spread out in different locations. Just imagine the amount of applications, web pages and windows you need to open on an average workday! These systems all have their own interfaces and sets of content and rules, which often leads to cognitive stress on the individuals using them. A lower overall efficiency than one might expect follows.

A search platform is one way of simplifying everyday work for these individuals, by making information in several systems available from one single location. And in one interface, that acts the same regardless of what information I am looking for.  This can be achieved by linking several data sources using a search platform, effectively creating an Enterprise Search solution. The benefit for certain processes and individuals can be dramatic.

The foundation for an Enterprise Search solution is a well-planned architecture and control of the most important and strategic information assets. One of the success factors is planning big but starting out small. While the long-term goal might be a common search platform, the first project could very well aim for connecting only one or a few data sources. That way, the platform is realized in small, manageable steps, all leading toward the same goal. With the right prioritizations, business value is created every step of the way. New ideas can be tested and problems mitigated before the consequences become difficult to handle.

What types of systems and data sources can be linked together in your Enterprise Search platform? All that we have come across in some hundreds of projects; intranets, web sites, ERPs, document management systems, file shares and databases. To mention a few.

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