I realise we are a bit late. Fredrik Wackå, a senior IT-strategist, has already written an excellent article on his blog (in Swedish). He has, among other things, been interviewing Kristian Norling (at Twitter), who has been working with portal strategies and better search for many years at Region Västra Götaland. Although, for all our non-Swedish speaking guests here is a short summary:
Findwise has during the last few months been working on a new search solution for Region Västra Götaland. The two main goals have been to deliver a search experience that seems both fast and accurate. The result? Today making a search at VGR takes about 0,1-0,2 seconds, faster than a Google search on the web.
Furthermore, there was a need for context. Large amount of information requires ways to filter and sort – otherwise the users will drown in the result list. By giving the end-users the ability to sort the search result the users can look for general information within an area as well as quickly narrow down to a specific piece (for example by two clicks be able to see only the PDF-files created in 2009). The filters (and thereby metadata standard) includes:
- Information type
- Where the document resides
- Where it belongs in the organization
- What source it has
- When it was last changed
- Who has written it
- What format it resides in
- Keywords that has been created
The search solution also includes a metadata service. As so many others VGR has been struggling with getting the metadata in place.
Apart from the metadata supported by the system (where Dublin Core is being used) the metadata service is doing two things:
- Analyses the content in the text, compares it to taxonomy and gives the writer suggestions of keywords that he/she can use
- Gives the writer the ability to add additional keywords
Apart from this the end-users will be able to add etiquettes (tags). These will be compared with two lists. If the tags appears in the “white list” it will be published right away, if they are in the “blacklist” they will be deleted. Anything inbetween are controlled before they are published.
To conclude: a lot of effort has been put into creating a good search experience and VGR continues to deliver functionality and solutions that are light-years ahead of many others. The combination of supporting systems and using the “collected intelligence” of the writers and end-users will make it even better over time. Search is about both supporting systems, content and people.
Read more in Fredrik Wackås blog