Findability Day 2016 – Stockholm

by | Nov 3, 2016 | Conferences, Search

The 2016 Findability Day event, sponsored by Findwise, took place in Stockholm on 27 October. The diversity of topics for the eight presentations was quite remarkable. After a summary of the 2016 Findability Survey by Mattias Ellison (the subject of a forthcoming blog) the opening speaker was a joint IBM/Findwise presentation on the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which takes effect on 25 May 2018. I suspect most of the 200 or so delegates were quite surprised by the scope and implications of GDPR and the need for some careful planning. Next up came Misty Weaver with a superb analysis of how to make content findable. The final paper in the morning was given by Henrick Sunnefeldt on the search strategy at SKF. As well as a global enterprise search application there are 16 specialised search applications but all are managed on an integrated basis. I was especially interested in the evaluation processes that Henrick and his colleagues used to track search performance.

The afternoon session started with a rather lacklustre presentation from HPE (aka Hewlett Packard in the past) on Artificial (or Augmented) Intelligence. It was disappointing that in the initial overview there was no reference to Alan Turing or Donald Michie, a colleague of Turing’s and one of the pioneers in AI. Next up came Theresa Regli (Real Story Group) who highlighted that every single one of the vendors covered by the RSG services had some form of embedded search capability, and each needed an appropriate degree of management to get the best from the application. After coffee Kai Wahner (TIBCO)  gave a very good overview of the value of analytics in business decision making which was notable for not being a promo plug for the company. The conference closed with a very thoughtful and enjoyable presentation from Andreas Ekstrom which is beyond summarisation –  looking at his TED talk will explain why.

Adding the presentations with the opportunity to talk search from 10.00 to 16.30 is why for me this event is a must-attend each year. This is, sadly, the only search-specific event aimed at an enterprise audience. There is also the BCS Search Solutions event in London in November each year but the scope is more towards the research community. Obviously this is a Findwise event but the company do not use this event in an Apple/Oracle/Cisco style where every speaker is there to extol the virtues of a vendor product. Lest you might be concerned all the presentations are in English. I have no hesitation in recommending you consider attending the 2017 event. I will list it in my conference diary as soon as the date is confirmed.

Martin White

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