Satisfying the Innovation Worker’s Need for Instant Insight
In the InformationWeek article ‘Go Rogue with Enterprise Search’, author Michael Healy states ‘search is one of the most unappreciated technologies.’ Perhaps so. Or, maybe search is simply one of the most mis-used technologies across an organization.
While enterprise search solutions and generalized keyword search engines may be sufficient for some populations of knowledge workers, the reality is innovation workers – the folks in your organization tasked with creating new products and services, finding new markets and improving existing products - require a specialized search capability.
Product and process innovation is knowledge-intensive and characterized by iterative phases of situation analyses, problem-solving and decision making. One of the biggest challenges engineers, scientists and researchers encounter is the issue of gleaning knowledge – insights that stimulate ideation and speed problem-solving - from a vast galaxy of unstructured documents: project reports, trade studies, material specs, design guidelines, technical journals, discussion boards, email, conference proceedings, VOC, proposals, test results, technical reports, knowledge repositories, patent databases, disclosures and more. For innovation and technical problem solving, conventional search technologies, advanced Boolean searches and statistically-based methods are a failed strategy because the process of matching keywords cannot understand the context of the user’s request – their design intent and need.
The result traditional searches are piles of mostly (and often wildly) irrelevant documents. This explains why search is underutilized – with less than 10% of the respondents to InformationWeek’s Analytics 2011 Search Survey using enterprise search to search across more than four data sources.
With enterprise search flailing and the typical knowledge worker not clamoring for enterprise search solutions, point solutions have evolved for specific niches. And when engineers and scientists require precise and timely answers to questions critical to their product development and other innovation initiatives, they turn to Invention Machine.
Invention Machine Goldfire stands alone in its ability to satisfy the innovation worker’s need for precise access to relevant knowledge. Goldfire’s advanced semantic search capabilities allows engineers, scientists and researchers to extract useful intelligence from information scattered across the organization (often in languages other than the user’s native tongue) and outside the organization (in patent collections and across the Web and Deep Web, etc.).
Beyond improvements in individual productivity (the top benefit cited by 433 companies surveyed for the InformationWeeksurvey), Goldfire users uncover information they were unable to otherwise access. Sometimes this information is a specific document, internal to their own organization, that was previously ‘lost’ in a shared drive or email repository. Other times, Goldfire unearths critical new insights into a competitor, technology or market – in content that resides outside an organization’s four walls.
Nearly all Invention Machine customers already have an enterprise search solution, subscribe to patent publication search services, and regularly use general keyword search technologies. Still, it is with Goldfire they uncover information they had previously been unable to. The benefit in so doing is not just the tremendous savings in time spent researching for and combing through relevant documents – though certainly that benefit exists along with the considerable time and cost savings benefit of avoiding redundancy and rework. The real benefit is that –armed with the right information in the context of the problem they are trying to solve – innovation workers can open a new market, circumvent blocking IP, redevelop a product to meet new regulatory requirements, improve a product to elongate its product lifecycle, or develop a breakthrough new product – ahead of competition. It’s hard to under appreciate innovation returns like these.