The Search Assessment Process
An Assessment typically involves the following specific steps, but is always tailored to the requirements of the customer.
Discussion of Business Objectives
The objectives of the proposed search application are discussed with the customer in terms of business needs and process improvements, and these are clearly documented for the benefit of both customer and Search Technologies staff.
Complete Tour of Existing Infrastructure
Search Technologies’ senior consultant conducts a detailed tour of the existing infrastructure. This includes gaining a solid understanding of any problems or issues with the current configuration. It also includes the current hardware and operating system environment, system performance and policies.
The content landscape (data to be indexed by the search application, present and future) will be examined and fully understood in terms of size, scope, data type, format and usage.
The user communities (which may be focused or diverse), their roles in the company’s business processes and their information retrieval needs are examined.
A full understanding of the performance requirements is gained including query speed, throughput, indexing latency and system resiliency.
Search Technologies will review the findings internally in consultation with a senior search architect and other subject matter experts, as appropriate.
A review of the initial findings is conducted with the customer, feedback given and options discussed. This helps to guide the detailing of the Assessment Report.
Outline options are discussed with the customer’s systems administration staff to ensure practicality and policy compliance.
The senior consultant compiles the Assessment Report, which is reviewed by the Chief Architect and VP of Technology before publication.
A presentation of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations is then presented to the customer either face-to-face or via a remote meeting. The Assessment Results document is then delivered electronically.