Search is part of the human condition. We are born to being inquisitive and receptive to learning. Discovery has been part of our history for as long as we’ve had historic records. For example, Christopher Columbus sailed to find something. Today, we’re now at a point where the canvas has shifted from a “sailing ship on the ocean” to a “search box on a screen” and now … to asking “Alexa, what’s the weather like today?” Even with increasing amounts of information being provide each and every day, the human condition of finding things, discovery, learning and growth remains. This is the nature of our being.
This is also the backdrop of most of our business challenges today. Whether you’re looking for information or looking for goods and services or looking for people or simply trying to figure out the next best steps to take, all of these scenarios are improved if you have access to the best available information.
So what defines the best available information? Arguably, the most beautiful answers come when you pose a beautiful question.
Posing a Beautiful Question
The capability exists today to pose questions better than any time in history. Our ability to search is directly related to our ability to pose the best question. This becomes more valuable when you consider we have access to more information than at any time in history. One approach to improving your search experience is to ask:
- How do I begin?
- What is my objective?
- How will I know when I have a good answer?
- What tools should I use – a ship, a search box or should I ask my virtual assistant?
- Are the tools I’m using leveraging my context?
- My journey (e.g. endpoint, path and steps along the way, expected interactions, etc…)?
- What am I currently working on?
- What I will be working on (my schedule, location, meetings, subjects, people involved, etc…)?
- Is my role being considered (sales, engineering, accounting, tourist, consumer, etc …)
- Am I looking in the right locations (remember the ocean vs. the computer)?
- Content, data and other information sources
- Semantic information
- Federation across the right information sources and applications, including social networks.
- How good are my questions?
- How am I measuring the value of the answer or search results I’m getting?
The Search Continues …
The above provides a simple framework for assessing, addressing and improving your future search endeavors. Look for ways to integrate them into anything from your personal experience to larger programs in your enterprise to improve your ability to get the right information at the right time and in the right way. Answers to these types of questions will help drive better results.
We’re continually looking for ways to improve on a framework and approach. Looking forward to further discovery and learning.