The Search Circle – August reports

Despite the summer slowness we’ve added subscribers in the UK and the Netherlands to The Search Circle. They have now received the August issue of Search Log and two reports. The first of the reports looks at the potential synergy of Big Data and enterprise search. Claims that Big Data solutions will cope with the linguistic complexities of search are not well founded. A recent report from Database Trends and Applications on the potential of unstructured information fails to make any mention of search technologies and suggests that all that is needed is Hadoop and MapR.

The second report sets out a range of approaches to developing business cases for enterprise search. It is virtually impossible to make a corporate-level business case (at least at present). A more successful approach is to develop business cases for individual departments or operations and then sum them together in a federated business plan. The report also suggests using the Strategic Information Alignment Framework model developed by Don Marchand as a way of opening up discussions with business managers about how search can help them meet their objectives.

In Search Log the website search of the month feature is about the Ofcom website and the importance of making sure that content summarisation for results is useful for site visitors. There is a profile of Cyril Cleverdon, who in the 1960s developed ways of measuring search performance that are still in use today and some observations on the recent HP marketing of Autonomy as a solution to customers of FAST ESP now that Microsoft has withdrawn full support.

Coming up in September will be a report that should help to explain to senior managers who are mystified by search (and who think that all they need is Google)  how an investment in search could make a significant difference to business performance. For more information contact us at

Martin White