Enterprise Search is supposed to help you find what you are looking for. Your organization has a wealth of information at its disposal. Customer proposals, project files, past experiences etc. are stored in documents in your Content Management System or folder structure. But how do you get them out? How efficient is your Enterprise Search? In pursuit of structuring information, Knowledge Management often turns to complicated and expensive tag and taxonomy-based systems. We think that’s madness and we’ll tell you why.
In order to improve search results, many enterprise search engines make use of tags and taxonomies. Creating taxonomies or tag lists is expensive and takes a lot of time. Linking documents to tags is not a trivial task and is often neglected in everyday life. The average user is just not disciplined enough. Even when you use automated tagging, the approach has several disadvantages. Adding new terms to the list and using them, for instance, is somewhat more difficult. Changing the meaning of existing terms is very difficult. And finding and replacing outdated relationships is an impossible task.
Table of Contents
The world is constantly changing
Opening up your company’s knowledge using taxonomies is expensive, incomplete, delicate and unnecessary.
Opening up your company’s knowledge using taxonomies is expensive, incomplete, delicate and unnecessary. First of all, you need an expert to draw up the list of relevant tags. But that means that this person is determining today which concepts will be needed tomorrow. It is like trying to determine the future based on past ideas. In reality, new concepts emerge constantly and existing concepts change in meaning in every domain. In other words: it is impossible to predict the future. David Weinberger writes about this very eloquently in his book Everything is Miscellaneous. He explains his view in this video.
The limited shelf life of knowledge
Also, the knowledge on which you rely today has a limited shelf life. This is the case in particular for scientific knowledge that – by definition – should be falsifiable. Scientific theories are never presented as the ultimate truth, so it’s always possible that they will be refuted by new, future experiments.
This is also true in technology-based knowledge domains. In an everchanging world, no industry escapes the constant evolution of ideas and understanding of the information at hand. Take your product range or the type of services you are offering today. How different are they from your offering 5 or 10 years ago?
Because of social evolution, deepening knowledge and legislation, what we know and how we do what we do today, will change tomorrow. This is also the case within your organization. The search terms you use today to find information evolve with the insights and understanding of the world. And that is precisely why working with tags and taxonomies is not a good idea.
But there is more
On the technical side, some incorrect assumptions are made as well. In the traditional bag-of-words models used by common enterprise search engines, all information is searched in its entirety. Thereby assuming that the order of words is not important, and that one word in the text exists independent of the other one. And that words are evenly distributed over a text. None of these assumptions are correct and they result in an inaccurate search result.
Yes, there is an alternative
Stop the madness of tagging. Use an enterprise search engine that doesn’t force you to assign taxonomy experts. Use a tool that is self-learning, that is independent of search terms and that learns without human intervention, now and in the future. Accurately and fast. In any language. Alexandria.Works is an enterprise search engine that uses a radically new approach to understanding text to improve search results. The tool is precise, fast and language-independent. With Alexandria.Works you can unlock the access to your enterprise knowledge immediately.
Curious about how it works? Or do you want to get started right away? Let’s meet for coffee and we’ll explain it all to you. Contact us.