Enterprise search analytics, search performance and search satisfaction

by | Jan 25, 2021 | Search

Later this week I am giving a presentation on the management of enterprise search analytics to an IntraTeam community meeting. Over the last few years IntraTeam has conducted an annual benchmark survey of the progress that its members are making towards achieving a high-performance digital workplace. A number of the questions relate to enterprise search. Although there have been a number of surveys of enterprise search performance in the past (notably by Findwise) the important attributes of the IntraTeam survey is that the survey participants do not vary widely year-on-year and there is a strong sense of community in submitting the survey responses. The outcome is a very dependable survey even though the geographic coverage is Scandinavia, and primarily Denmark. From many years of working with clients in the Nordic countries I have found that they are usually at the leading edge of investment and management of enterprise applications, so the IntraTeam survey represents a good benchmark to aim at.

The early indications from the latest survey show little change in the confidence that organisations have in the quality of their search applications, with only 21% being satisfied with the features and functionality. The survey also asked questions about the level of commitment to reviewing search logs. Some cross tabulation by CEO Kurt Kragh Sørensen indicates that the quality of search analytics and the satisfaction with search are very closely related. That should not be a surprise; what is more surprising that some organisations only look at search logs on an annual basis.

By coincidence I have just finished reading an excellent research paper by Paul Cleverley, Fionnuala Cousins and Simon Burnett (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen) about the impact of Covid-19 on enterprise search. I will comment on this paper in my next blog but for now I want to quote from remarks on search logs from Paul’s paper.

“Enterprise search logs contain the ‘digital body language’ of the community. The search logs are an under-utilised resource of intelligence that may not be exploited to the full by many organisations for monitoring business, social and health risks, and opportunities. Search logs can provide a conduit to knowledge, an epistemology for how we come to know things in our organisations. They can supplement more traditional methods and be a valuable real-time source for actionable insight in times of crisis. In extreme situations (e.g. a pandemic), companies may need to move faster, monitoring and exploiting their enterprise search transaction logs in real time as these reflect degrees of uncertainty and anxiety that may exist in the enterprise.”

It is important to emphasise that Paul (with his colleagues) has a distinguished track record in enterprise search research. You can find out more about Paul’s research on his blog which will show that comments like the one above are based on a substantial amount of hands-on experience.

Reviewing search logs cannot be an occasional occupation. The trends that Paul describes require constant monitoring and equally constant action. I have come across too many organisations that have collected the analytics but lack the skills and support to take the necessary actions.

I’d be delighted to give this presentation to your organisation and hopefully jolt them in to action about the risks they are running by not committing adequate resources to log analysis.

Martin White