Gerd Hultberg

How asking the right questions could remedy your search

by Gerd Hultberg
August 2, 2013
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Comments: 2 Comments

”Why can’t we just get Google?” was the title of one of the excellent presentations at J. Boye Search Days with Martin White that we organised back in March.

This is also a question many search managers have encountered, as frustrated users have complained about how hard it was to find what they needed on an intranet or a website. And it is unfortunately also a question that has no easy answer. When you try to explain the technicalities of search, you’ll probably also find that those asking the question are not actually that interested in your explanation – they just want something that works.

Enterprise search remains a hard nut to crack. As being able to find the data you need becomes increasingly more critical to your business it is a nut that more and more people managers, employees and users are expecting you to crack.

At The Making search work conference track on Thursday 7. November at the J. Boye Aarhus 13 conference you’ll meet search managers from organisations like City of Norrköping, Harvard Business School, Statoil and the UK Office of National Statistics who have cracked or partly cracked the nut and will share their experiences and solutions with you.

Making search work in 2013 and beyond

So what makes enterprise search so hard to get right? Why has progress been so slow? And most importantly: What can you do about it in your organisations?

If someone has the answers to these questions, then surely it must be the people in the trenches. At the conference, you’ll be able to meet search managers who between them have created numerous search solutions and continually observe and analyse within the topics of enterprise search, intranets and information management.

Join the conversation at the search conference track and be challenged to reflect on your current search strategy, the engine that powers it, on what works well and what doesn’t and explore the root causes. Come, listen and learn from some of the best as they show you how they solved some of their issues with search. Hear their proposed solutions and let them and your peers help you to reflect upon, how you can:

Why not start the debate right here? What do you think it’ll take to fix search once and for all? Is it even possible? Or is search like information architecture, so dependent on human behavior that even though something is flawless in theory and even test,  it becomes flawed once the users start using it? Is time to look at how search can become an enjoyable experience for users and quit searching for the perfect system?

Share your thinking by leaving a comment below or read more about the conference track: Introducing: The making search work conference track.



Ravi Mynampaty August 7th, 2013 21:20

For sure a nuanced response is required for answering the question: “[How to] fix search once and for all?” However, like in US presidential politics, in Enterprise Search if you have to explain your position you have already lost, so I will instead offer this one-liner which will go a long way towards fixing many search problems:

“Go into battle with the search engine you currently have, not the one you wish you had.”


Ravi Mynampaty August 12th, 2013 20:58

One-liner #2: “Put practitioners in charge.”

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