Search engines have come a long way in their ability to help you find desired information within an enterprise. Technologies vary, but no matter the search method, all kinds of searches can be enhanced if a solid custom taxonomy is developed. Regardless of how content is indexed, taxonomies can enhance search by boosting accuracy in retrieval results and by improving the user experience.

Enterprise search can retrieve data, both structured and unstructured, within a company. It is beneficial because it enables users to easily access organized information. An organization’s data architecture should be able to offer a method to share and reuse existing data. It should also suppress data duplication for efficient data management and high data quality. This is where efficient data search and systematic building of existing data should be supported.

Within any enterprise, some content is structured, such as that residing in databases and/or containing designated metadata, and some content is unstructured. Structured content is the “low hanging fruit” for accessing with search. Metadata is standardized administrative or descriptive data about a document that is common for all documents in a given repository.

Taxonomies provide consistency in terms and categories to enable findability in content. This is true regardless of the subject. The best known taxonomies are hierarchical structures of terms arranged in parent/child or broader/narrower relationships. The idea is to create a logical structure of the terms so that the users can easily locate the most desirable term, even if they do not know ahead of time exactly how that term is worded. Information seekers may search for something specific and know what it is called, or they may browse for information on a subject area, but are not sure exactly how to call it or have various possible ideas. A hierarchical taxonomy specifically helps this latter kind of information seeking.

Making content findable is important to knowledge management. It is important to remember the value of a solid taxonomy and its role in the search process. How content is classified impacts the findability of your data. Professionals should look for an experienced builder of solid standards-based taxonomies to associate content for appropriate machine-assisted indexing. Access Innovations has extensive experience in constructing taxonomies and can provide solutions that are ANSI compliant.

Melody K. Smith

Data Harmony is an award-winning semantic suite that leverages explainable AI.

Sponsored by Access Innovations, changing search to found.