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Enterprise Search Improves Productivity, Report Finds

Workers at companies that implement enterprise search effectively spend less time looking for the information they need to do their work.

Enterprise search done well provides significant productivity gains, a new study from the Aberdeen Group has found.

The survey was conducted between July and August 2009 and involved 118 companies that had implemented enterprise search.

The ratings are based on four criteria: the difference in time the respondent spent searching for information at the time of the survey and a year earlier; the difference in time spent by staff searching for information in the same time frame; search solution performance, tuning time, and set-up time; and changes in customer support costs.

The top 20% of companies using enterprise search achieved notable productivity gains: executives surveyed spent six hours less personally looking for information each week, compared to a one hour reduction reported by executives at companies not among the best performers; and staff at top performing companies spent 28 hours less searching for information each week, compared to a one hour reduction at other companies.

At top performing companies, 67% of searches returned the most relevant results on the first search results page, while lower rated companies saw relevant results on the first page for only 42% of searches.

Leading companies also saw a 15% reduction in support costs, compared to a 3% increase among other companies.

A common approach at organizations placing among the top users of enterprise search was striving to create a single view of all enterprise assets. Sixty-seven percent of top 20 companies did this, compared to 27% of the non-leaders.

David White, senior research analyst for the Aberdeen Group and the author of the report, said that Google dominates enterprise search among smaller companies while Microsoft dominates in larger organizations.

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