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Workplace Search (That Works!)

Empower employees within any department with the most relevant documents and data to streamline their jobs. Integrations within common SaaS applications provide them with ready access to the information from wherever they already perform their day to day workflows. Lucidworks connects information from various sources and makes it easy for employees to find the content most relevant to them.

Intended Audience

Knowledge management and employee experience leaders interested in connecting data sources across the organization

Attendee Takeaway

Learn how leading companies use innovative technologies to improve the employee experience by empowering teams with relevant information


Tik Patel, Vice President of Product Management, Lucidworks

[Pratik Patel]

Hi, my name is Pratik Patel, the VP of Product here at Lucidworks. And I’d like to talk to you today about workplace search, and its workplace search that works. 

In this era of the pandemic and remote workers, what we’ve seen is that it’s much harder to ensure that we have seamless communication among employees. Back in the day, it used to be that you’d talk over at the water cooler and keep up to date on what’s going on, and understand other organizations. These days sharing knowledge is a little bit more difficult. So you need more of a virtual water cooler, and that’s what we’re here to provide for you today. 

How do we do that? Well we do it by making the experience intuitive and simple. First, we provide guided workflows for the business user, so that when you set up your search for your employees, it’s super simple. You’re bringing together your data sources, in a guided manner. And then we tell you, how can you optimize for relevance and for what people care about. We make it easy to deploy, as a managed service. it’s pure SaaS solution, that gives you an opportunity to just turn things on and run with it. And last, it’s personalized experience. Ensuring that employees find things that they actually need to do their jobs. Whether it’s tailoring to their specific role or even to the level of the individual. So as we think about search, there’s a few players involved typically in the workplace, in terms of who you need to cater to for this experience. 

Before it used to be, you had to have this search developer. This dedicated individual or individuals who are very technical, who really helped you set up what you needed to to get the right information out of your search product. What we wanna do is make it much simpler, so you don’t have to deal with a lot of coding. A lot of interfaces that are tailored to engineers, versus to the business user. Be more business user focused and KPI driven. In addition, it requires a lot of cost if you needed to hire your own people to support these things, whether they’re engineers or devops. 

So who else is involved? We have a business owner, who is the experience manager. When we have a business owner involved, they care more about the results you’re getting versus just the setup process. What they wanna do is ensure that you can curate a great user experience, based on what role the individual that they’re tailoring to is. In addition, they wanna be able to understand how they’re performing, see those KPIs around click-through rates, around relevancy. And then understand how easily that they can improve on those numbers. 

So what’s that user journey look like? They’re there to optimize and personalize. First thing you would do, you’d set up a bunch of different types of personas in the system. Whether you’re in sales, you’re in engineering, you’re in marketing or even accounting finance. Let’s make sure that you have the right experience that helps you do your job. Then you wanna ensure that there’s a continuous improvement cycle. Where if I start returning results to you that don’t make a lot of sense, I can understand, yeah, this is bad relevancy. These are the wrong data sources. This is the wrong information. Or even, you call this something different from what I call it. 

Let’s put a interface in front of this experience manager, that’s more business user focused so that they understand, well, what do I have to do to improve the relevancy myself? The third persona, the obvious one, is the employees. You have workplace search users. What are they trying to do? Really, you wanna provide them relevant information to complete their daily tasks. What is their job function? How can I make it easier for them? And quite often, their job functions mean that they only have access to certain interfaces. 

And within those interfaces, sometimes the information is not there to do their jobs. So potentially you need to share across organizations. Also, where do you do your work? Are you doing it in Salesforce? Are you doing it in Jira? Are you doing it in Confluence? Depending on your role, you’re probably in a different place. You wanna make sure you have access to that information wherever you’re doing your work. That’s why we wanna make it simple. What does that person care about? What is their user journey? Once they get onboarded, what they have this expectation of, is that you’re gonna provide relevant results to them. And then you’re gonna improve that relevance over time. 

Additionally, you’re giving them an opportunity to explore. What does that mean to explore? It means that information that you don’t know about, just pops in front of you and it makes it easier to do your job. And that could be something as generalized as new HR policies have come out because COVID. So you have COVID time off suddenly. So that might be a more of a broad employee usage, whereas something else might be compliance related. So maybe sales needs to know, hey there’s new policies, come check and see what I should and shouldn’t sell still. 

And then that information should be shareable. It’s shareable to people who are in your group and you know they’d be interested in it. And you could do it explicitly or even implicitly. The system will learn, well this person’s an engineer. They’re sharing this a lot. This should be raised up for all other engineers in terms of search results. We could pop that information for you. So we make the entire workplace experience much more collaborative, explicitly or implicitly. With that, I wanna show you a few demos that kind of elaborate on those particular topics. And let’s share this. 

Using the example of this guided workflow, as I was talking about. If you’re a business user, what do you care about? You care about your performance. How am I doing in terms of click-through rate? Who are the people who are part of my search? What is the information they’re searching for? So how can I tailor that experience to those audiences? It’s an important thing. Well, let’s go into what we call the experience optimizer. And let’s see the different audiences we have. Let’s simulate the sales experience on a search page. 

What do I suggest to search for sales audiences? Documents that are suggested around sales plans. And then trending documents that are potentially interesting to everyone in the organization. That’s not necessarily what a different audience might care about. In terms of scientists, what do they care about? Well, I think what they need to know more about is, what is the latest literature? What is the research telling me? And how should that affect my behavior? So for this particular audience, I’m gonna update it. I’m gonna change that data source to be more about scientific papers. Make sure it’s using the trending algorithms. And then providing defaults to easily update the experience. 

So now I see that my scientists will see trending papers first and foremost. So it’s all about catering the experience to the audience, in a super simple way. Let’s talk about how do you refine? How can that business owner understand am I performing well? If I’m not, what can I do? An example might be our earlier scientist example. I’m losing out on click-through rates, why are they going down? Well mostly, these scientists are clicking on scientific papers. Potentially I need to weight those a little bit heavier, so those are showing up more in the search results. And that can be done manually or algorithmically over time. 

Another example, am I talking like my audience talks? So we have these null searches. People are searching for things and not finding them. All right, people are using a lot of abbreviations. All right, they’re searching for chem and not finding it. Well that’s just standard jargon, how do we ensure that our searches are accounting for that? The system will guide you through exactly what steps to take. All right, that’s a misspelling. All right, when someone’s searching for chem, I understand, it’s pretty straight forward to say, they’re probably looking for chemistry. That rule gets implemented, and now I’m seeing results. And my null search results should go either down or just disappear entirely for that. 

Additionally, what can I do as a business owner to improve search relevancy in a more automated fashion? Well, the system gives you lots of opportunities to turn on intelligence. Keyword extraction is already turned on for this particular customer, because we have the right source set up. Automatic boosting hasn’t been turned on yet, even though we have the right signals. Let’s turn it on and improve that. Personalization is not yet turned on because we are not getting an individual user ID passed through yet, only a role. But if you work with the team to turn that on as well, and post that information of a user level, you can get even more personalized results. 

So what does that mean in terms of the user experience? How does that translate? So what you were seeing is the backend manager for the business owner. Let’s take a look at what a potential simulated experience would be for the individuals who are actually involved in consuming that experience. Let’s use the example of Slack because as you know, probably 90% of the free world, these days uses Slack to communicate with employees or friends. We have our smart search enabled, and it’s calling that backend system that you just saw earlier, that the business owner is managing. You might have a salesperson who’s searching for a topic called never null. What type of results do they see? They see things in the sales Slack channel. That’s helping them figure out, how do I sell this new product that Lucidworks has introduced? I see Salesforce results that say, who are those prospects that I should be talking to? Who are the ones that we’re getting traction with? 

Let’s find similar ones. provide me this brochure on Google Drive, that gives me the ability to share this literature with my prospects. And then take me to the website. I can direct someone directly there. And potentially post it on LinkedIn and say, Hey, come see all about our new product called Never Null. That’s what sales cares about, the same experience from the same backend. It will be slightly different from our engineering audience. So let’s say we are engineers, who are asking for the same thing. Do I care about the literature or the brochures? Not so much, what I do care about is the channel where this was first released. That explains more information about what features were released. 

Additionally, I can go and see, well here’s our documentation site. This tells you how to implement this particular feature or product. Or here’s Confluence information that says, what are the latest results from our test runs? Let’s see how this has been running in terms of training our models, for example. So it’s really providing that ability to give the audience what they need to do their job. Whether that’s their daily routine of their role, or more broadly as an employee of Lucidworks. 

So hopefully that gives you an idea of how to really simplify that collaborative experience while we become more and more a remote workforce. The link is being provided in the chat if you’re interested. Thank you so much for your time.

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