What Exactly is Enterprise Search and Why Might You Need it in Your Business?

business enterprise search

Enterprise search is a data management technology that delivers a broad range of powerful search capabilities to the enterprise. It enables users to search across enterprise information resources, including emails, documents, images, videos, custom webpages, and more, without having to know how to code or develop a web interface.

Enterprise search can be an incredibly useful tool in any organization, especially those that manage a lot of data and require the ability to search it for specific business purposes. If you’ve got a large team or organization and you want to be able to quickly search across all of your data, then enterprise search is a tool you’ll want to consider.

Why Enterprise Search is Important for Organizations

Today’s businesses rely on access to information to help them make better decisions. Whether they’re looking for a particular document, a person, or an answer to a complex question, companies need to have access to information at any given time. In a competitive landscape, this can be a challenge.

As a result, organizations are investing in technologies like enterprise search to help them manage their data, find and access information, and find the information they need at any given time.

Enterprise search can also help organizations be more efficient with their data. Because it allows them to search across their entire information environment, instead of having to focus on each individual piece of information, they can have a much more efficient process.

How the Enterprise Search Process Works

When using an enterprise search platform, there are three main phases to the process:

  • Exploration: This is similar to a web crawler, but for your enterprise’s external and internal data. The enterprise search platform will analyze all of your information, compiling the relevant information necessary for the next step.
  • Indexing: This is the process of organizing your data to make it searchable. The platform will perform analysis on the data, finding key relationships between different pieces of information, and categorizing it for your search.
  • Search: This is the main part of the process. Using the results from indexing, the search will return results that are relevant to your search. It’s also context-based, for example, it will take into account an employee’s specific job title to present the most relevant results for that individual.

While the discovery phase of the process is similar to a web crawler, like how Google indexes websites for search results, the search phase is very different. The best enterprise search platforms will utilize technologies like Neural Language Processing and Machine Learning to analyze your search queries, and deliver the most relevant results, rather than just a list of search results.

How does enterprise search benefit the enterprise’s bottom line?

The ability to search across an entire data environment is a huge benefit for the enterprise. This sort of instant access to highly contextual, relevant data can help your organization make more accurate decisions, streamline processes, and reduce errors. It can also improve the customer experience because you’ll be able to provide them with the information they need when they need it.

Numerous employee studies show that a lot of productivity time is wasted on manual data discovery and access. For example, research firm McKinsey & Company published a study revealing that employees spend 30 percent of their workweek hunting for relevant data.

When we consider that time equals money, it becomes apparent why enterprise search is so important. Companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on employee hours spent searching for information.

How can you decide which enterprise search platform is best for your organization?

There are several things to consider when comparing enterprise search platforms:

The platform’s search capabilities

This is the biggest factor to consider when comparing enterprise search platforms. The platform you choose should be able to effectively conduct analytics, and leverage machine learning to provide you with relevant, contextualized results.

How powerful is its leverage of AI

Machine learning and AI can provide a lot of value to enterprise search platforms. While the technology is still in its infancy, there are a number of tools that can automate a lot of the process of searching through structured data.

App integration availability

The right platform should have the ability to integrate with the systems that your organization uses. If you’re using a legacy system, you’ll want to consider how easy it will be to integrate your search platform with the existing system.

Access to data

If you’re storing your data in a cloud-based system, you’ll want to make sure that your search platform has access to that data. You may want to consider how easy it will be to integrate your search platform with a cloud-based storage system.

At the end of the day, you want a platform that can seamlessly integrate with your current tools, while providing you with a better user experience.

Cover Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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