Content without access is relatively worthless. Enterprise search is how an organization helps people seek the information they need, in any format, from anywhere inside their company. This includes databases, document management systems or even information on paper. It’s about getting the right information at the right time.
At first glance, the terms “findability” and “discoverability” may seem to refer to similar things. However, these concepts are very different, and both are key outcomes that should be considered in any comprehensive knowledge management strategy.
Findability is the ease with which information can be found. It means that users can easily find content or information they assume is present on a website. A good knowledge management strategy also promotes discoverability, which involves making sure that new content or information can be found, even if the user doesn’t know that it exists yet.
One way to ensure findability is with a custom taxonomy. Taxonomies exist in every industry from science to information management to healthcare. Taxonomies provide consistency in terms and categories to enable findability in content. This is true regardless of the subject.
It is common for companies to have shared internal network structures that facilitate file storage. The main purpose of a taxonomy is to ease navigation. A controlled vocabulary is not the only tool for navigation, but it is one that you will use most often. Think of a taxonomy as a map book or a map application on a smartphone. A taxonomy is the instructions that guides users to the ultimate destination from point A to point B.
The optimal search experience is faceted and could also involve open source. Faceted search is found in intranets and enterprise search applications, as well as other content-heavy sites. However, this takes a budget with enough power to sustain search applications to take you the whole journey.
Searching is more than just typing something into a search box and getting a result. It’s more about discovering things about a topic that you didn’t necessarily know you were looking for.
Melody K. Smith
Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.