Gartner says that professionals spend 50% of their time searching for information, and on average, take 18 minutes to locate each document. That’s on roughly an average of 4.5 hours each week just looking for information. And that doesn’t count brainstorming with coworkers, using the information in those documents, or time spent updating data.
One way to speed up the process of finding information is to utilize an enterprise search system. An enterprise search system can be used as a stand-alone business intelligence application. Often, however, they are used as part of a larger business intelligence environment.
There are many factors to picking an Enterprise Search System, but here are the five most important ones.
1. Content Awareness is the ability for a system to recognize what is included in your documents and be ready to provide that information to you when you search for it.
2. Query Processing goes hand in hand with content awareness. When someone queries a term in a content repository, and the system then processes the content; it is processing a query. Essentially, how well your system produces results is based on its ability to understand what a human is truly searching for, and then accurately find and present appropriate matches.
3. Systems Integrations allow your Enterprise Search System to reach farther and wider. By having more connections, you can make sure that all of your users have access to all the right information whenever they need it.
4. User Interface (UI) is a concept that most people are familiar with because it is basically how we access all end-user systems. UI is simply the design and concept behind a human using an interface. A better UI makes for a better experience, which in this case means less time searching and more time interacting with the information a team member was looking for.
5. Licensing Models generally come in two models, and what works for your company may not work for another. Traditional software licensing normally has a licensing fee which gives a company the right to use a system based on a number of users or volume or locations. Genrally in this model there is a on time up front ‘purchase’ and an ongoing maintenance fee for support. Software as a Service, is based on a subscription model which combines the right to use the system and support for a monthly or annual fee. These types of solutions are often based on cloud configurations. With both formats there may be additional fees for implementation, configuration, and/or hosting services.
So how do you best leverage these key aspects in an enterprise search system in a way that makes it easier for your team to locate information? By focusing on number three.
Systems Integrations may be the most important factor when it comes to finding an enterprise search solution that can help your team be most efficient. An ECM platform that connects to all of your repositories can allow you to bring up all the information you need in a single search. No more switching between windows, or manually entering information. By not having your repositories connected you risk poor data governance, duplicate data, and incohesive workflows. It’s easy to see where that 4.5 hours of weekly searching comes from right?
Products like Intellective’s Unity allow you to link all the repositories your company uses under one dashboard. This can cut search times by up to 40%! Allowing you to take back multiple hours of work time and reducing frustration.
Unity also boasts a number of features from the top five factors for picking a search system. With advanced content awareness, Unity can search over your entire enterprise both in titles, and in content, augmenting your metadata and making it easier to locate the information you need, even if you don’t remember exactly what the file was named.
With Unity’s advanced analytics dashboard, and customizable search capabilities, you can set up all the features you need in no time, without ever calling your IT department. Just another way that an ECM that fits your needs is worth the investment.