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Practical Approaches to Sharing Information at Raytheon Taxonomies, Metadata and Beyond Presented by Christine JM. Connors KMPro / KMForum, Bentley College, Waltham, MA June 30, 2004. Level of information management varies

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Practical Approaches to Sharing

Information at Raytheon

Taxonomies, Metadata and Beyond

Presented by

Christine JM. Connors

KMPro / KMForum, Bentley College, Waltham, MA

June 30, 2004

data discovery what we learned
Level of information management varies

85% of our information is unstructured

Over 90% of information is not tagged

High proportion of tagged documents result of templates, and therefore relay bad data

Ethan Frome – over 200 documents

Automatically extracted data imprecise

“The flight to Dallas is cancelled”

Greater than 13% of information is exactly duplicated

“Near” duplication harder to determine but potentially more costly

Worst duplication in File Servers / Shared Drives

Difficult to determine true age of document due to web scripting, date of publication to public drive

Over 23% of sample data not modified in previous 5 years

Over 68% of sample data not modified in previous 2 years

Data Discovery – What we Learned
intranet search and browse survey june 2003
16 multiple choice questions, 1 optional free-text comment field

516 surveys started (clicked into)

199 responses over 3 weeks

39% completion rate

101 comments on “How can we improve the intranet search and browse capabilities?”

51% comment rate by survey participants

Intranet Search and Browse SurveyJune 2003
how can we improve the intranet search and browse capabilities
101 user comments frequently included:

Qualify searches by function, organization, and business

Qualify searches by date

Qualify searches by document type (especially web pages)

Provide sorting of results by date, document type

Provide category search

Do not change URLs of pages (users bookmarked)

Reduce number of search results

Google (mentioned 32 times in comments)

How can we improve the intranet search and browse capabilities?
results summary

About ¼ (26%) of respondents find the current capabilities “Good” or “Excellent”

About ¼ (24%) of respondents consistently locate helpful information

About ¼ (22%) of respondents indicate they are consistently successful using keyword searching

About ¼ (26%) of respondents find it consistently easy to browse

The advanced search page is used sparingly


62% of respondents would find categories consistently useful


36% of respondents consistently return to previously found information

71% of respondents use bookmarks “Most of the time” or “Always”

65% of respondents consistently organize their bookmarks

Results Summary
“The search engine is poor to inadequate. I needed to find an appropriations data sheet and was returned 366 entries, none which had anything to do with appropriations. I spend far too much time looking through the search results for this engine to be effective. If I could find this document on the INTERNET I would do so, but this is an internal Raytheon document that is successfully hidden somewhere in the archives with the Ark of the Covenant.”

Unidentified search and browse survey participant, June, 2003

“Who gets more hits: or Listen up people: Our intranet is a wasteland of information. We need to unify - we need to standardize. Information is power - but only if it is on my desktop, not hidden away in some server waiting for a lucky adventurer to uncover it like some lost continent.”

Another unidentified search and browse survey participant, June, 2003

usability testing
Bentley College’s Design and Usability Testing Center

4 Focus Groups of 8-10 people each

They told us:

Want to filter searches

Didn’t want long list of items to select from

Liked “Suggested…” boxes

Didn’t understand the taxonomy when presented like Yahoo!

Liked taxonomy as file folder metaphor

Liked thesaurus

Were confused by relational taxonomies

Liked “Categories” as the tab label, over Topics, Taxonomy, Thesaurus, Subjects or Browse.

Usability Testing
taxonomies who
The Dream Team

Information Scientists

Cognitive Scientists



Database Experts

Network Specialists

Verity Administrators

Human Computer Interaction / Usability Experts

Subject Matter Experts

Organizational Change Management

Taxonomies – Who?
  • What we got
    • Information Scientists (in-house)
    • Cognitive Scientist / Linguist (from Verity)
    • Programmers, Database Experts, Network Specialists, and Verity Administrators (both in-house and from Verity)
    • HCI / UI Experts (in-house, Verity and Bentley College)
    • Subject Matter Experts (in-house)
taxonomies what for
Browse & Navigation

Relational Taxonomies

Refine Search

Parametric Search

Federated Search

Dynamic taxonomies


Compliance Engine

Classification & Categorization

Provide controlled vocabularies to use with Metadata Schema(s)

Easy selection to minimize angst over having to fill out file properties

Taxonomies – What for?
taxonomies 2003
Deployed 5 taxonomies

Defense Technologies (based on DTIC)

Purchased DTIC taxonomy

Revised to fit Raytheon’s data

Removed several categories including agriculture that are not needed

Raytheon Products

Revised our products listing into a hierarchical approach

Enlisted Raytheon Communicators as Subject Matter Experts


Built using data from the IPDS web site

Enlisted IPDS experts as Subject Matter Experts


Implemented taxonomy built by Raytheon’s Engineering Technology Network – Needs revising and enhancing

Information Technology

Purchased from Verity

Revised to fit Raytheon’s data

Enlisted members of Corporate IT as Subject Matter Experts

Taxonomies 2003
taxonomies 2004
Human Resources taxonomy

Deployed March 2004

Purchased from Verity

Cross-functional team of HR representatives reviewed as Subject Matter Experts

Six Sigma

Will be deployed June 2004

Built based on Raytheon Six Sigma data

Legal Taxonomy

Will be deployed June 2004

Purchased from Verity

Able to create additional taxonomies for Ethics, Environmental Health & Safety, and Export/Import Compliance from the purchase of this ONE taxonomy

Will be restructuring our top level categories :

Business Units – domestic & international





Taxonomies 2004
taxonomies how
Card sorting

EZ Sort

3x5 cards

Review search engine logs

Internal logs


Review organic systems

Web and file share navigation

Review existing taxonomies/thesauri

Concept Mapping

Linguistic algorithm

Intelligent Classifier – lots of query building behind each node


Mind Manager



Taxonomies – How?
build vs buy
Build to suit users

Reflect corporate vernacular

Internal acronyms

Corporate culture

How is the business structured and portrayed?

Can take a long time

Time estimates depend on type/use of taxonomy/tools available

Simple = 5 minutes to build term, 5 minutes to build category and map the topic to the taxonomy

Complex = 75 minutes to build term

PLUS Quality Assurance testing!


Industry standard

Rapid implementation

Need customization

Both decisions require maintenance

Build vs. Buy

Benefits - Increased Productivity

  • Delphi Group 2003 – as reported by Gartner
  • Business professionals spend more than 2 hours per day searching for information
  • Half of that time – 1 hour per day is wasted by failure to find what they seek
  • The single factor most attributed to the large amount of time wasted was
    • data changes (location 35%) and
    • bad tools (ineffective search and lack of labeling 28%)
  • If we conservatively assume only 1 hour per year would be saved per general employee and 1 hour per month per engineer, then:






Benefits – Reduce Storage Costs

Relative of starting point, growth curves represent storage acquisition cost increases over time.

is it working
“New” search launched September 29

Latest survey results show improvement

Neutral rating upgraded to Good

Metrics show increased usage of search

17% increase in unique users per day

25% increase in searches per day

Metrics show increasing use of categories in search

Since launch, the categories have been used 50,000 times

ITLT approved project funding

Knowledge Representation team recipients of 2003 IT Excellence in Collaboration and Knowledge Management Award

Is it working?