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When Search is not Enough Case Study: The Advertising Research Foundation. Gilbane Boston November 27, 2007. Why search matters?. Explosive growth of unstructured/structured data Business critical application Intranet often overlooked as source of knowledge capital

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when search is not enough case study the advertising research foundation

When Search is not Enough Case Study: The Advertising Research Foundation

Gilbane Boston

November 27, 2007

why search matters
Why search matters?
  • Explosive growth of unstructured/structured data
  • Business critical application
  • Intranet often overlookedas source of knowledge capital
  • Search has become too hard
  • Search is the content enabler
  • Storage without search is useless
exalead s answer
Exalead’s answer
  • Global search-centric company
    • Enterprise software vendor
    • Web search engine (exalead.com)
  • Search as you think, by serendipity
  • Next-generation products
    • Simplicityof consumer products
    • Featuresof enterprise products
  • Complete product range
    • Full-featured, fully scalable and real-time products
    • Both packaged and fully customizable products
information access simple or complex problem
Information Access: simple or complex problem?














Complex problem

Simple solution

Complex problem

Complex solution



American Greetings



Simple problem

Simple solution

Simple problem

Complex solution




about the arf
About The ARF
  • Founded in 1936, the premiere advertising industry association.
  • Leads key industry learning initiatives that increase the contribution of research to better marketing, more effective advertising and profitable organic growth.
  • Mission is to improve the practice of advertising, marketing and media research in pursuit of more effective marketing and advertising communications.
values guide knowledge solutions
Values Guide: Knowledge Solutions
  • Relevance
  • Quality
  • Access
  • Absorption
  • Collaboration
  • Application to Business Decisions
knowledge solutions initiatives
Knowledge Solutions Initiatives
  • Help Working Groups manage communications to external audiences and improve their project management
  • Promote interaction among members and increase their value to one another through a social network
  • Extend the reach and impact of conferences, Thinkshops and councils
  • Make ARF Knowledge Easier to Find and Access For Members and Staff
    • Provide a tool for knowing:
      • Locate
      • Explore
      • Discover
why knowing is important
Why “Knowing” Is Important
  • People scan, they don’t read
  • They want direction and answers
  • Results need to tell a bigger story than “here’s a list of documents.”
  • Staff and members need to:
    • See results in a context
    • Quickly spot relevant items
    • Filter results to narrow – or expand – interest
    • Preview results
    • Easily work with a result set
    • Be guided to related concepts
  • They want emotional satisfaction
project scope and sources
Project Scope and Sources
  • Scope
    • Support mission: advertising, marketing and media research that improves the effectiveness of advertising and marketing communications
  • Sources
    • Shared Drive
    • “Best of ARF” collection: Selected Conferences, white papers, standards and guidelines, and reports
    • ARF Publications: J. Advertising Research (housed in a third-party database)
    • ARF Websites: General Web site and focused secondary sites
    • Industry Sources
selection and vetting
Selection and Vetting
  • Selection Criteria
    • Goal: To develop a focused collection of authoritative, high quality documents
      • a “treasure trove” not a “warehouse”
    • Determine the most relevant documents for members and staff
  • Vetting
    • Knowledge Solutions domain expertise guided selection and quality judgments of file system and web-based sources
    • Ambiguous selections or those with lower confidence were reviewed with Chief Research Officer
software selection
Software Selection
  • Criteria:
    • Unified search of file system, web, database
    • Easily handle multiple file formats
    • Leverage ARF “folksonomy” and adapt to changes
    • Preview documents
    • Extract entities from document properties – and within the document - and use to filter results
    • Accommodate custom synonyms and furnish tools for creating custom entity extraction rules
    • Limit/Restrict Sources based on user profile and security
    • Launch document in appropriate application
    • Integrate with third-party solutions
    • Affordable
arf constraints
ARF Constraints
  • Taxonomy
    • ARF would not build a taxonomy
      • Resource issues, time, maintenance
  • Entity Extraction
    • Key entities needed to be available out of the box
    • New entity extraction rules should not require a lot of effort
  • Document Preparation
    • Need to work with existing documents “as is,” only minor clerical tasks can be performed
knowledgebase setup
Knowledgebase Setup
  • Sources Configuration
    • File System
      • Built upon an existing folder structure (folksonomy) that reflected the “big buckets” of ARF knowledge
      • Segregated documents that were strictly internal from those that were suitable for members
    • Web Sources
  • Document Preparation
    • External audience - reviewed and modified the Properties fields, especially Title and Author, to improve indexing and results pages –
    • Internal-only documents - left alone because the numbers are so great
  • Source Relationships
    • Respect third-party security
end user experience
End-User Experience
  • Basic search and query for all users

idea engagement

leverage beyond user search
Leverage Beyond User Search
  • Integrate with third-party applications as a service
    • QnA system
      • Exalead will parse Questions and Answer, then
      • Query the knowledgebase, and
      • Present top three results as part of the response