Knowledge Central’s innovative keyword search makes it a great alternative to retrieving content from traditional file and folder systems. There’s no need to remember file paths, and your search won’t return hundreds of irrelevant results.
So let’s talk a little about how it works.
There are three fields in a document record that the system searches – the title, the description and the tags.
If you search for just one word, the system will look for that word in all three of those fields, and will return a list of documents where the word appears in any one of the fields. It will also search within words, so if you search for ‘environment’, you’ll also see results that use ‘environmental’ or ‘environments’ – helping you find what you’re looking for even when you don’t get the search terms quite right.
If you search for more than one word at the same time, the system will still look in all three fields, but will only return results that contain all of your search terms – either all within one field, or split across fields.
What it doesn’t do is search within each of your documents – and for good reason. Searching within documents can return hundreds of results for common words, so you still end up having to trawl through large numbers of documents, opening each one in turn and scanning for the content you’re looking for.
For example, terms like ‘quality’ and ‘assurance’ are very likely to appear in multiple documents in your bid library, but most of those won’t be what you’re looking for when you need to find a method statement on quality assurance.
Because Knowledge Central doesn’t search within the text of your document, you’re in control of your search results – and that means using the right keywords.
The title and description of your documents are likely to be straightforward, but here are a few things to think about when choosing the tags you’re going to use for your knowledge base content:
Who decides, and when? – Will you make a list of all tags as you start to map your documents, so you can ensure consistency when adding new documents? Or will you ask colleagues to help you build tags as you go along, based on what they search for?
Which words? – Think about what someone looking for a particular piece of information might type into the system. Use any sub headings in your documents that you’ll want to locate easily as tags. Think about alternative terms for topics mentioned in your document, or different ways of spelling or writing common terms.
Remember, the idea is to make every piece of content in your bid library easy and quick to find when you need it.
If you’d like help with using or choosing tags, get in touch with our Knowledge and Content Manager Kate on firstname.lastname@example.org or (0113) 255 6098.