As I posted on the Fast Forward blog last week, Google provides an enterprise version of its search tool through the Google Search Appliance. It can go through up to 30 million documents which is many more than I have but within the realm of need for many large enterprises. The Google Search Appliance is an integrated hardware and software product that allows enterprises to employ Google search formulas inside the firewall, as well as on the web. It operates like Google web search with the addition of algorithms specific for enterprise data, security features, no ads, the ability to search both unstructured and structured data, and the ability to prioritize search of specific enterprise applications.
With the Google OneBox for Enterprise feature, an enterprise can access information from its business applications — including employee directory and calendaring, CRM, ERP and business intelligence. It operates in more than 200 different file formats, and in over 100 different languages. The security features ensure that users can only access the information that they have permission to view.
Like the web Google search results often provide 10s or100s of thousands of results. Sometimes even millions of returns are offered. In most cases employees, like web users, are happy to look at the top 10 or perhaps the top 50. But what if you want to go beyond that and for business intelligence, market analysis, or other reasons look at the bigger picture? What if you want to see the relationships between the documents and other data sources in these enterprise search results? What if you want to use “termless” search to go beyond designated key words and look within the text of certain documents to see what themes emerge.
To address these business needs, iQuest can now be integrated with the Google Search Appliance. Among other features, it adds social network analysis to search. You not only see the most relevant search returns, but you see the relationships between these information sources. You can see the information hubs and spokes, who are at the center of conversations, and who are left out. You can get a visualization of these relationships and then drill down for more detail on any item.
iQuest Discovery™ employs social network analysis algorithms combined with token and link extraction to find hidden relationships and undiscovered information by mining unstructured data from large document stores, the Web, email logs, phone archives, message boards, blogs and enterprise intranets. It works and integrates with currently available search technologies such as the Google Search Appliance. You get to see who is talking to whom, what they talk about, when they talk and where those conversations are taking place. To help you see these relationships it creates a visualization that connects relevant data points. The results allow you to identify anomalies and mutual connections to surface the hidden relationships linking people, places and ideas.
As a disclaimer, I serve as an advisor to iQuest on occasion but I was not part of the integration with Google and I have no relationship with Google. However, I am very pleased to see this integration occur and think it is natural combination, extending what Google can do through iQuest and bringing more focused data to iQuest through Google to better target its analytic powers.