We’ve seen an explosion of data associated with rich media content for preservation, production and distribution/publication purposes. With this exponential influx, many are faced with the challenge of finding the results they want.
This ever expanding amount of data at our fingertips presents two challenges to most media organizations:
- The speed of finding the results is key. For example, some of our customers manage in excess of a Billion metadata records, so having a modern scalable search engine platform to represent the information in a timely manner (milliseconds not seconds!) is essential.
- The value of the results. Even when all of this data is easily searchable, relevancy proves to be the next challenge.
Todays business demands are great, and one of the most dynamic shifts has come around media and communications. A world where platforms and channels have grown by over 1000% in five years. How does a business organize its content and media in ways that work in such a world? The easiest answer is to put content into business form. Organize and show content based on business work and business need, and eliminate systems like file structures.
Finding What You Want
When searching you kind of need to know what you want, i.e. fill in all the fields for your query. This method of searching is called ‘explicit’ searching and requires the “right” input in order to produce relevant results. The outcome is typically less precise then a faceted approach (i.e. implicit searching.) The problem is when you have thousands of records you end up paging through many hundreds of results in order to find “the one.” Sorting typically means the search wasn’t good or precise enough to get what you were looking for in the first place.
Putting Context in Your Searches
The next generation of IT business based metaphors for organizing search and retrieval must be intelligent. Do you look at your brand material by the suppliers you buy from? Organize like that. Do you look for your material by styles and catalogs you present to consumers? Organize by that. Organize by how you work, not by some tech clueless way.
Think Amazon when you consider a simpler way to help your colleagues find what they need. If you look for watches you get brands, types and colors. If you look for luggage, it’s based on size and types. Make your search work for the world in which you live.
The objective of facets is to integrate browsing and searching into a single experience and organize information in a meaningful way for the user to “act” upon. This offers different perspectives or insights into content. It empowers users to choose which dimension they want to explore with an easier way to filter results.
The Power of Faceted Search
As an example, let’s consider the Colorado Rockies baseball team. A coach might be interested in play types.
And a PR department might want information on only one player.
When buying shoes on your favorite site (like Amazon or Zappos,) you simply type shoes and on the left pane you see buckets of results that relate to what you’re looking for: Gender, Materials, Type, Sizes, Ratings.
In this example you don’t have to enter shoes in the search field, Men’s in the second field, size 9 in the third. You just click on the relevant buckets and the results on the right represent that combination of matches.
Now if I do a search for bicycle, the facets on the left don’t remain Gender, Materials, Type, Sizes, Ratings. Instead you get a new “dimension” based on input.
These facets create multiple points of engagement and discovery of other potential buy-ins.
Furthermore, having a modern search engine keep user profile and histories will give a deeper and more relevant context the next time a user searches. In other words, if the system knows I like leather boots it can bubble these up to the top of the results based on my prior search/browses.
That’s the power of facets.
When’s the last time you pulled down the multiple field input search tool in Amazon?
Reach Engine 1.8 Brings Faceted Search
With our newly introduced faceted engine in Reach Engine 1.8 we can define various facet dimensions based on Content type and User role to satisfy most producers, in addition to addressing your company’s Legal department which may want to see facets into Air Dates, S&P completed, Delivery, etc.
Furthermore, RE 1.8 can set weighted ratios between various facets in order to “rank” certain results higher which will bubble up in the search results. That means when you search for “touchdown” the facet for event type “super bowl” will bubble up super bowl touchdowns higher than other regular season touchdowns.
Facets give you the flexibility to represent content with a perspective for your different user roles and needs. They give you road sign guidance of where to go next (discovery) and allow you to back track that navigation by removing facets.