Sharepoint search – the key to effective information management

Microsoft Sharepoint delivers many business intelligence benefits to our clients but information sharing is invariably a key goal and one that must deliver from launch if staff are to engage successfully with their new intranet platform.

Even with the best data hierarchy in the world, the fastest way to locate relevant documents is often through search. We are used to the efficiency of Google search and expect our internal systems to work the same, perhaps forgetting that Google have been refining their queries for close to 20 years!

Like most things in Sharepoint, search is an area where early planning delivers dividends. The more help you can give your intranet/ collaboration platform to deliver expected results, the more accurate your search outcomes and the more satisfied people will be.

  1. Encourage Search – place it front and centre, and make it available from every page
  2. Create relevant Search filters. Rather than relying on out of the box filters like date range and author, create filters people can relate to. If you could narrow a search for ‘job’ by say ‘job type: Consultant’ and ‘region: NSW’ and then ‘position level: management’ for example, you would quickly see relevant results.
  3. Shortcuts: Give people the ability to search in different ways through your Information Architecture. For example megamenus can link directly to information without too many clicks, or custom search functionality can sift through legal documents.
  4. Display Templates are reusable HTML designs you can build to show Search Results in whatever design you wish. Slick presentation breeds user confidence.
  5. Manage content from day one: multiple copies of the same file, out of date content and no approval process in place for critical documents or pages make it harder to search. Set up managed metadata or tags to filter results early on and communicate these throughout your organisation. Ensure teams know to store documents in libraries and link to them instead of keeping them in Yammer streams for example.

Search is crucial to the success of your intranet and collaboration solution. Understand Search from the outset, create and implement an effective strategy and you and your staff will see the benefits every day.

For more information or to speak with one of our consultants about your business needs, contact us or call 1800 022 990.