Making Enterprise Search Personal

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man in suite pointing to life size enterprise virtual search bar to personally find something

Knowledge management providers are now looking to build systems that are more tailored to the needs of their customers. In technical parlance, this is known as the behavioral model for information retrieval system design. With these models, users search for a product or service, and the results often include related offerings that are better matched to the user’s intent. Honing in on this kind of personalization is at the crux of the new experience economy of customer service and the forefront of Enterprise Search advancements.

Moving Ahead of the needs for Connectors

One of the key requirements for forward-looking knowledge management is the capacity to extract data from the typically hundreds and thousands of data silos scattered throughout a company and crawl them to create meaningful insights. For this purpose, “connectors” have long been used to retrieve data from siloed applications and move it through a pipeline into an index, where it can be correlated and contextualized.

Not only is it necessary to retrieve data from siloed applications, but it’s also necessary to organize that data in such a way that users can easily find what they’re looking for. If information is only provided in a raw, unfiltered form, users will rummage around through mountains of data and drown in an ocean of unnecessary search results. This makes it impossible to find the answers they need to complete their tasks. In the past, knowledge management was all about searching for information. Today, companies are starting to understand that information is useless if no one knows how to use it and understands the meaning of the information.

This led to the development of the behavioral model, in which users’ interactions with their information retrieval system are used to predict their future needs for search results, and how they will interact with other systems.

The Use of Behavioral Models

Behavioral models go back at least to 1973 when such “first” models were developed and mentioned.

Today knowledge management providers are using insights from BMIR to turn their focus toward analyzing factors that are found specifically in the way information is used. These factors include the importance of activities, past actions taken in connection with a particular piece of information, specific search behavior, and even the emotions that users associate with information – a topic that is very strongly related to customer experience or the “experience economy”.

The Experience Economy

We’re living in the “experience economy.” In the B2C scheme of things, consumers want an experience and customer experience (CX) has been evolving rapidly. But how does this translate into the B2B Enterprise world? The trend of the experience economy makes it possible to get holistic views on a bill of materials for products and it makes tasks like consolidating parts lists much faster.

Based on behavioral analysis, today’s knowledge management systems can deliver exactly the information users need without overtaxing them. Or, to put it another way, the system personalizes the relevance of a given piece of information. With enterprise search systems, you’re able to get the support you need for your business processes and effectively transform them.  

The ability to glean information from users’ behavior, predict what is useful to them, and deliver a novel singular experience that is exclusive to an individual should be the new minimum expectation of your Enterprise Search system or Insight Engine. With millions of searchable knowledge bases and an ever-growing number of self-service applications, content is growing exponentially within enterprise organizations. Ensuring optimal relevancy in the ranking of search results helps businesses reduce costly support calls. Organizations have also found that Enterprise Search solutions can provide significant time savings by quickly locating previously buried information, and can increase customer satisfaction by delivering relevant results on demand.

Making smart use of enterprise search should be fundamental to the way your business operates. Enterprise search systems personalize the relevance of a given piece of information to create a better customer experience. More and more, search engines are exhibiting a better understanding of what their users want, and in order to stay competitive, you should take advantage of this in your own business.

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