In my last blog, I discussed why search connectors are the backbone in delivering an “Intelligent Intranet”. Today, I am going to open Pandora’s box. Search relevancy and personalization!
What does search relevancy and personalization mean?
To me, relevancy and personalization are all about delivering search results in context. I want to be presented with a dynamic dashboard that provides me with a personalized view of information that helps me get my job done. That could mean access to critical documents, no matter where they live. It could be a widget that suggests experts who can answer my questions or suggests candidates for my new project team. The key is it needs to be dynamic and all about me. Me. Me. Me.
So how do you go about delivering a relevant and personalized search experience? Metadata.
We all know that metadata is important. My colleague Don Miller has a great blog on the subject. I will add my twist on the subject and why I think it is important.
Metadata is kind of like your annual physical. You know you need one, but you never get around to scheduling the appointment. You are putting your head in the sand to avoid hearing bad news. Yes, metadata is just like that. And, I hear the same story from my enterprise customers almost daily. “Yea, we know we need structured metadata, but we just never get around to it.”
We all know why metadata is hard work. When you upload a document to SharePoint, only a few tags (e.g. author, file type) are added automatically. People refuse to manually tag content. Making matters worse, if you ask people to manually tag content, frequently they will pick the first option on list. Bad metadata kills relevancy and personalization.
The other challenge is that metadata in one enterprise system might be called something different than metadata in another system. Since 61% of information workers access four systems or more to get their work done, inconsistent metadata across line of business applications presents a huge problem.
So, how do you face your fears and make the appointment with your doctor? How do you deliver a relevant and personalized search experience? How do turn your Intranet search experience into an Internet search experience?
Automatic, rules-based, and machine learning classification. The power of this approach eliminates human error and end-user laziness. You now have the power to normalize metadata across all line of business systems. With a rules and machine-based approach, content is intelligently tagged, boosting relevant, personalized views of information, turning your Intranet an Amazon-like Internet search experience.
Good news. With auto-classification, you just received a clean bill of health from the search relevancy/personalization doctor. Even better, you now have a search experience that is all about you.