Wednesday, January 4, 2012

28 Seconds to MARS --- Search for Success

imageThe title 28 Seconds to MARS refers to the speed at which information can be made accessible. Your Mileage May Vary, but the reality is that if you have paper or electronic content it can be captured, processed and indexed very quickly.

What is MARS?

MARS is my acronym for Making All Repositories Searchable

I saw an incredible demo from Concept Searching where they were able to process and classify terabytes of data at the rate of about 28 seconds per document. This is where I came up with the title of this post.

Speed Matters - More than likely some content can probably processed much more quickly and some perhaps a little more slowly (think paper based content that needs to be scanned first). That’s why I mentioned above … Your Mileage May Vary.

The key points are … it’s possible and more businesses are going to need to embrace enterprise search. Thus forming the Search Enabled Enterprise. The Search Enabled Enterprise is going to be much better positioned to not only react to situations (lawsuits, business conditions, market dynamics, etc.) but to create new offerings that exactly meet the needs of the customer.

The demo documents in this case were from the US Air Force (unclassified content, of course), but the same model and algorithms can be applied to any data --- structured or unstructured. Concept Searching is paving the way for the Search Enabled Enterprise.


Perhaps even more interesting was that the data --- metadata, taxonomy and the content all went into Microsoft SharePoint. This was impressive. One click and voilacaptured, processed and indexed content.

image image

What is needed to realize and enable MARS scenarios?

Some of the key points are listed below. Of course, these a just the starting point. There may be conditions that apply based on access (both physical and electronic), security levels (especially in governmental organizations (think wikileaks) and by the various industry regulations.

Key points include:

Critical Issues:

  • Information Assurance
  • Records Management
  • Rights Management


  • Findability (for FOIA)
  • Access - The right person at the right time on the right device and at the right place
  • Don't PREVENT people from accessing information ... just CONTROL it.

Records Management

A realistic and defensible plan needs to be created to insure the Records you declare today are the right ones AND that if (or when) you find yourself in court you can find the documents you need … and ONLY the documents your need (think about opposing councils data discovery now, before it’s too late).

  • One example, In the US Government …
    • Radiology has a 75 year records retention plans and reports that span decades (dosimetry data going back 50+ years)

A few more things to consider:

Decision Points

  • When to declare a record?
  • What is a record?
  • What is a document library?

Policies and Policy Decisions

  • Access - making info available to the right people
  • Information Rights Management
  • PII (Personally Identifiable Information) needs to be managed
  • Information Management / Records Management - insures proper preservation (Data Rot)
  • Workflow - insures appropriate coordination of efforts with routing, escalations and timelines
  • Content Management Systems withOUT policies is effectively a File Share

These are just a few of the ideas needed to consider and create plans around for a Search Enabled Enterprise. If you have other examples and have points I may have missed please feel free to share them in the comments on this site or drop me a line at one of my contact points below. I look forward to hearing what you have seen and heard and to hearing about what works in the real world.

imageAbout The Author:
I have spent the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with
Kodak as a Director of Business Development. In my past I have spent time at Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

No comments: