It’s the beginning of the month and now is as good a time as any for your company’s search committee to get together and analyze Best Bets, successful and not so successful searches, etc.
You don’t have a search committee? Then form one 🙂
WSS and especially MOSS search benefit from some human oversight. Investing a few hours a month on a consistent monthly basis is not only more fun than a barrel of monkeys, it can:
- Give insight into the information needs of the enterprise. If people are searching left and right for topic "xyzzy," you know that’s an important topic to the enterprise.
- Identify potential training requirements. If people are searching for topic "xyzzy" but should really be searching for "abcd" then you can use that to educate folks on where and how to find the information.
- Help your organization refine its information architecture.
- Identify opportunities to enhance the thesaurus.
- Other opportunities will no doubt present themselves.
Who should be on search committee? You would know your people best, but consider:
- At least one (and maybe only one) IT person who understands (or can learn) the various ways to tweak search, including best bets, thesaurus, managed properties, etc.
- Several subject matter experts that can read the search reports, ingest it and communicate business-savvy actions to IT so that IT can push the buttons, pull the levers and open/close valves as necessary to on committee recommendations.
- One or more information architects who can validate, one way or another, whether the information architecture is search friendly and whether it’s working out well for the enterprise.
- A rotating seat on the committee. Bring in one or two people who don’t normally participate in these kinds of efforts. They may bring unusual and valuable insights to the table.