The compilation of relevant information on a topic is becoming more and more important for companies of all sizes and in all industries – and more and more difficult due to the increasing amounts of data. Intelligent search engines that not only find all important documents, but also evaluate them in the right context, offer valuable support here.
An example: a long-standing account manager unexpectedly leaves the company. His successor must gain the customer’s trust as quickly as possible and continue the good relationship. For this, it is crucial that the new advisor gets the most comprehensive and precise picture possible of his contact person.
Search databases manually?
A manual search in the various databases and servers not only requires a great deal of time, it also does not guarantee that all relevant information will be found. With the help of an intelligent search engine, this is much easier and more efficient. The employee accesses all important customer data via his tablet. In the first step, he searches for current contracts, e-mails, orders, product requests and complaints, for example.
The results from all relevant data sources such as network, mail system, CRM, ERP or DMS are then clearly displayed at a glance. An intelligent search engine must also take the corresponding access rights into account. For example, personal comments from a manager should or must not be visible to the account manager. However, the latter receives all factual information about the company and its activities.
The individual note
Nevertheless, the account manager also needs personal data. After all, he has to know which contact person is sitting across from him in the meeting and what his preferences are. The intelligent solution searches the web and all publicly available social media channels such as Xing, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs.
For example, the account manager learns that his contact is tech-savvy and posts articles online in various communities and forums. This gives him numerous points of contact for a personal introduction to the conversation or small talk at a business lunch.
The task of search applications has long since ceased to be the simple listing of information from all data sources that contain the search term entered. The real added value for the respective user is the quick location of relevant factual and personal facts on a topic. Implementing and perfecting this task in a highly professional manner is one of the greatest challenges in the development of search tools.
Include the context
Intelligent search solutions achieve this through “contextualization”, ie the determination of relationships when entering information. A distinction is made between implicit and explicit context.
Implicit context is information that can be determined from user behavior or the environment. This includes, for example, typical activities in social networks, search and click behavior, predominantly performed activities as well as age and whereabouts. This and similar information about the user is already recorded before the actual search.
The explicit context, on the other hand, is created directly through entered search queries in the company system and selected sorting or filter criteria. With these and other criteria, the user supports the search engine so that it can provide the most accurate results possible.
The boundaries between the applications are increasingly disappearing. Intelligent search solutions now also automatically take into account social media, saved PDF documents, databases as well as images and videos. In the future, publicly available data from machine-to-machine networking could also be integrated. The Internet of Things is likely to lead to new or expanded scenarios here.
Advantages in international competition
It is important for everything that the request for information from the various data sources remains as easy to use and clear as possible so that employees can carry out their tasks efficiently, with high quality and enjoyment. This is an important prerequisite for companies to survive in international competition.
A search engine is no longer allowed to deliver a simple hit list. The sensible combination of all available information from internal and external data sources, enriched with data from social networks, will influence the competitiveness of a company even more in the future.
All rights must always be strictly observed in order to avoid possible compliance violations and a corresponding damage to image. In addition, employees not only have to receive all the relevant information, but also have to be able to access it easily and efficiently – regardless of whether they work in sales, customer service or in the human resources department. Nowadays this is ensured by intelligent search solutions with contextualization functions.