Findwise Findability Day, Stockholm, 30 May 2013

The second Findwise Findability Day took place in Stockholm on 30 May. The first event in 2012 attracted an audience of 80 but this year around 200 people sat down to listen to a day of excellent presentations. This year I was invited to open the event, and set out what I see as some of the important developments in search technology and its applications over the next 2-3 years.  I can’t comment on my own presentation but there were some outstanding presentations in the course of the day. Ravi Mynampaty described the development journey of the web sites at the Harvard Business School over the last five years. He emphasised the importance of a careful review of search analytics in making decisions about user interface design and search functionality. In my view HBS are probably the leaders in web site usability and site search among US universities, and Ravi outlined the projects that were being planned for the next five years that should keep HBS in that position. Another stunning presentation came from Johan Johansson (Municipality of Norrkoping) who managed to educate and entertain the audience in equal measure. In the parallel sessions I listened to Martin Ölhléen setting out in detail the search journey that SKF has been on over the last few years and then outlining the approach the company has taken to the development of mobile applications.

Other speakers included Christian Finstad (Meltwater) on media tracking, Krisitian Norling giving a summary of the Findwise Findability Survey for 2013 and a very good condensed presentation of SharePoint 2013 search from Troels Walsted Hansen (Microsoft). DJ Skillman (Splunk) talked about the big data technology that the company had developed and finally came a presentation from Google entitled Building the Star Trek Computer. Sadly it took the presenter 7 minutes to get his computer to work, something that Captain James T. Kirk would not have been impressed by.

Overall this was a very enjoyable event, very well organised and with good networking opportunities. With both this event and the support of the Findability survey Findwise is making a major contribution to raising the importance of search in business and communicating good practice in implementation and management.

Martin White