A growing niche in the content management market is a class of tools that can index and organize distributed content across a range of platforms and make it accessible through a variety of methods. These enterprise-class tools support three distinct models of access: search, navigation and collaboration. In this month's column, we will examine the benefits and drawbacks of the first two types of access, the various approaches to implementing these processes and, most importantly, how to evaluate tools in each category. Next month's column will focus on collaboration.

The first access method is the common search technique. With these tools, users discover relevant content by specifying keywords and phrases, and Boolean indicators. We all know how effective this can be. Vendors have developed proprietary methods for improving search relevancy by applying some basic rules about word forms, looking at recurring patterns in text and using other statistical analysis methods. While these techniques help, we can't seem to shake one fundamental problem. Regardless of how we try to search, when we improve the chances of finding all relevant content (increasing recall), we tend to increase the number irrelevant hits (decreasing precision). Similarly, when eliminating irrelevant hits, we tend to miss relevant content.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access