I have just been watching a recording of a recent BBC Horizon programme on how we make decisions and the impact of cognitive biases.  It turns out that there are over 150 of these cognitive biases which subliminally influence the decisions we make. Sadly the programme made very heavy weather of presenting what is just one approach to understanding how we make decisions. Of course consultants are trained to ignore these – if only! In a way the theme of Enterprise Search Europe this year is about making more informed decisions. The keynote speaker is Dale Roberts, who has some very interesting insights into decision-making in business and the role of information in supporting these decisions. Thinking back to the Horizon programme perhaps information is the key to overcoming these biases.

Over the last few weeks some additional speakers have been added to the programme. I’m delighted to report that Dr Haiming Liu, from the Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Bedford will be talking about the challenges of multimedia search, a subject that is becoming increasingly important as collections of images and videos are starting to increase substantially. We have also added a short session on people search. Chris Tubb is the author of a report on intranet employee directories for the Digital Workplace Group and Chris Brown (Basis Technologies) will be talking about the importance of entity extraction technologies in identifying the names of people in large file collections. There is also a new case study given jointly by the UBS bank and Attivio.

The workshops are beginning to fill up, with a day of SharePoint 2013 search insights from Raytion and Jeff Fried (BA-Insight) being especially popular. There is still room for more workshop delegates but I’d recommend booking in the near future. Finally I’d like to highlight the Enterprise Search Meetup which will take place following the cocktail session on the Wednesday evening as a joint event for the London and Cambridge Meetup Groups. The link will be added to the ESE website shortly.

So if you are making any decisions about your current or anticipated search environment there is no better place to get the best possible insights and advice than Enterprise Search Europe. I look forward to seeing you there.

Martin White