Simon Bain, CEO of SearchYourCloud recently wrote an article for IT ProPortal, “The search continues: A history of search’s unsatisfactory progress.” In his article, Simon expands on a survey conducted by SearchYourCloud in which a third of respondents said they “spend between five and 25 minutes searching every time they want to find a document, while only one in five searches is correct the first time. The search for corporate information is eating into workplace productivity. Only 20 per cent of respondents reported first time successful searches. Other key findings from the survey include that it takes workers up to eight searches to find the right document and information, according to 80 per cent of respondents.”
Search, Simon comments, hasn’t really improved over the last 20 years. Companies such as Microsoft and Autonomy, while assuming the mantle of usable search through the acquisition of search veterans like Verity and FAST, actually focused their efforts on consultancy rather than on improving results retrieval.
The introduction of Big Data, however, has offered a twist to the information retieval conundrum. Piles of data, lots of repositories, different security levels and multiple devices all funnel down to researchers who must adapt their search to the search interface of the individual database or repository, meaning they are often searching databases one by one by one.
We call this serial searching, and it is hardly efficient. Add to this that not all researchers know where to look, know the search syntax of the databases they are searching, or have time to search all of their databases.
Luckily, federated search have arrived on scene, assessed the situation and now offer alternatives to serial searching.
“With the advent of federated search, the ability to search across multiple repositories has improved. Moreover, with federated de-duplicated results, users do not receive thousands of irrelevant documents or emails. Users can simultaneously search across applications. It is best to take a non-repository processing approach and keep the existing data silos separate. A large repository can be kludgy with inherent security risks and to combine multiple silos may create problems in reconciling different processing power and security levels.”
Deep Web Technologies’ customers see increased efficiency every day using Explorit Everywhere!, so we second Simon’s evaluation of how federated search improves the overall picture of modern search. Our customers tell us that they find exactly what they are looking for in seconds or minutes. We are constantly evaluating our efforts to rapidly return the right results from across multiple repositories. And as data grows, so do we.
Federated Search is still moving search along with it’s adaptable infrastructure. It’s like it was made for modern, dynamic, fast-growing data streams.