5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Enterprise Search Software
Every organization today needs an enterprise search software. So, how do you make a choice when it comes to choosing the right software for your organization? This article talks about a few key questions you should ask before you make that all important decision.
The exponential growth of data has given rise to the need for data management along with effective search tools that are designed to help organizations search key information from this ever growing heap of data. After all, collecting and storing data makes little sense unless you have the right tool to find the information you need and whenever you need it. The problem with organizational data is that a major share of it is unstructured, which makes it difficult to find relevant information.
New age enterprise search software have been developed to bridge this gap and to help organizations make sense of unstructured data and derive insights that help in informed business decision making. If you look for enterprise search solutions, you’ll come across many names and Coveo, 3RDi Search, and Inbenta are a few of them. Here are 5 key questions you should ask before you decide to invest in one.
Question 1: What is the type of data you need to search for most often?
Now, this one is the most basic question to ask. The answer to this question will give you an idea about the purpose of getting an enterprise search platform in the first place. Will your focus be primarily on data collected from various social media platforms or will it be data from emails? Before you go ahead and invest in an enterprise search software, take time to ask your employees about the type of data they need to look for most often. You might be surprised to learn that the requirements of your employees can be fulfilled by a basic software, even without the additional bells and whistles.
Question 2: Which are the locations where your data is stored?
Once you are well aware of the type of data to work with, the next thing to know is the location of your data. Which are the data locations your employees need to access most frequently? The answer to this question will help you get an understanding of the type of environment your enterprise search software should be functioning in.
The term for the location of data is silo, and a silo can be anything from file systems, records, data sets, the Internet or even a content management system (CMS). Your enterprise search platform needs to be configured in order to allow access to the nature of silos relevant to your business.
Question 3: What is the total volume of data you’ll be working with?
This question is important as it gives you an idea about the capacity hardware support required for the enterprise search software you choose. While most enterprises today deal with almost unlimited quantity of data brought in through various channels, it helps to at least set a number to the rate of growth of data, so that you know what to expect and get a search software that is configured accordingly.
Question 4: How Frequently is the Data Updated?
Does the nature of data in your organization demand frequent updates? Does old data get irrelevant once you have new data on board? The answer to these questions will give you an idea about the scope you should be looking for in the search platform you choose. It will also give you an idea about the extent of scalability the software should have in order to meet the needs of your organization.
Question 5: Who are the existing clients using the software?
Last but not the least, it’s very important for you to have the knowledge about other organizations that are using the software. Once you have shortlisted a few software based on the criteria listed above, ask the vendors for details of the past clients. This will help you know if the vendor has worked with a business similar to yours in the past and if the vendor has the required expertise to work with your organization. If similar organizations have been using a certain product for long, it will likely turn out to be a great product to meet your needs as well.
The Final Word:
Taking into consideration the points mentioned above will make it much easier for you to choose an enterprise search software that ticks all the boxes when it comes to catering to the requirements of your business. After all, it never hurts to make sure you’re investing in the right tool, isn’t it? There are tools available in the market for every need and budget and all you need to do is find the right one.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elise Lowry is a technical writer and a web entrepreneur with many years of experience. She regularly blogs about rising IT companies, path breaking IT solutions, current IT trends and much more. Understanding how technology affects the world we live in, is her subject of interest.