Enterprise Search Management the Focus of New Study

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A new industry study addresses how the cost of search technology, potential waste of employee time and missed business opportunities make enterprise search a critical task that is functioning ineffectively across the business world. "Successful Enterprise Search Management" has five major sections and 17 chapters -- yet contains only 130 pages.

But our focus was from the beginning of our collaboration was on practical guidance based on our decades of experience in information access.

A new industry study addresses how the cost of search technology, potential waste of employee time and missed business opportunities make enterprise search a critical task that is functioning ineffectively across the business world. "Successful Enterprise Search Management" has five major sections and 17 chapters -- yet contains only 130 pages.

"Successful Enterprise Search Management" tackles enterprise search in terms of management, return on investment, and problem solving. The study, co-authored by Stephen E. Arnold (http://www.arnoldit.com), an expert in search, content processing, and text analytics, and Martin White, information management consultant, was released by Galatea Press (http://www.galatea.co.uk) this week. The table of contents (http://arnoldit.com/press/sesm-toc.html) is available at the ArnoldIT.com web site.

"An employee who can't find digital information quickly and easily works with an extra burden. Manual searches are too time consuming and costly," Arnold said. "Without an effective search system, an organization may find itself losing deals or missing business opportunities. The dissatisfaction many users feel with search is usually not a problem with technology."

"Martin White and I focused on presenting the information needed to help make an enterprise search deployment a success. We have included case studies and references to vendors," Arnold added. "But our focus was from the beginning of our collaboration was on practical guidance based on our decades of experience in information access."

The study contains screen shots from referenced systems and diagrams that highlight the management tasks addressed, including the overall problem: Information is a variable concept. Then add different expectations, and, according to the book, search becomes an extremely difficult application to deploy because different users have different requirements for the search system. A number of complex processes must be orchestrated. A glitch can make the entire system deliver results a user cannot use without spending time opening and closing documents hunting for the needed information.

The study approaches the management aspect of search in information-dense environments: Ineffective information access can make the difference between an organization meeting its goals and actually going out of business. Managers spend up to two hours a day searching for information, and more than 50% of the information they obtain has no value to them.

Arnold's expertise came to bear when discussing the technical aspects of search: multiple languages, linguistics analysis, deduplication, analyzing user requirements, assessing functionality, systems integration, document collection and more.

Both Arnold's experience with online search and search technology and his lecture to a standing-room only crowd in Aarhus, Denmark, at the JBoye 08 (http://www.jboye08.dk/) conference were cornerstones of "Successful Enterprise Search Management" content. Arnold is the author of the first three editions of the "Enterprise Search Report," "The Google Legacy" and "Google Version 2.0." His ArnoldIT.com Beyond Search (http://arnoldit.com/wordpress) research team conducts confidential competitive analyses related to online information and services.

To support its advice, the book outlines case studies and references to specific vendors' systems while offering practical guidance on how to better manage key elements of enterprise search including planning, preparation, implementation and adaptation. Specific topics addressed include text mining and advanced content processing, information governance and the challenges language itself presents.

"This book will be of value to any organization seeking to get the best out of its current search implementation, considering whether to upgrade the implementation or starting the process of specifying and selecting enterprise search software," co-author White said. His Web site is http://www.intranetfocus.com.

You can learn more about the book on the Galatea Web site (http://www.galatea.co.uk). A complete table of contents is available at http://www.galatea.co.uk/index.php.

About Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold monitors search, content processing, text mining and related topics from his high-tech nerve center in rural Kentucky. He tries to winnow the goose feathers from the giblets. He works with colleagues worldwide to make this Web log useful to those who want to go "beyond search". Contact him at sa [at] arnoldit.com. For more information about Arnold IT, contact Stuart Schram, chief technology officer, at (502) 228-1966. The company's Web site is http://arnoldit.com, and the Beyond Search blog is at http://arnoldit.com/wordpress/.

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