Solving Search

Solving Search

June 16, 2022
Data, Services

Search is difficult.

By that we mean building a service that delivers the right information to people who are searching for it.

In our world of searching for business opportunities, there’s a range of tools and techniques that can be used to make search more rewarding for users.

Let’s first understand the problems. It is common for users to want to use keyword searches to return documents. So a user might search for the words “mobile phone” and the database will return matches. Unless the users sends out a strict search (a search only for documents that includes those exact words) the database will return documents of exact and near matches.

Sometimes that’s good. So if you’d searched for “mobile phone” in most cases you’d also want to see opportunities for “mobile phones” with an ‘s’ as well. However, if you get opportunities for “mobile homes” as well then the database is giving the user the wrong information. Equally, the database might also miss records, so if you search for “mobile phones” the database probably wouldn’t return documents that use the words “smart phones”.

So users might start out with fairly strict or tight terms when searching, but quickly discover that they have to use loose terms in order to avoid missing the required opportunities. So “mobile phone” quickly becomes “phone” and then the user has to work to filter out anything that isn’t relevant such as a “phone helpline”.

This gives users a challenge where they have to increase the cognitive load of parsing search results in order to secure confidence that they have searched for every possible opportunity.

We make searching easier for users by adding additional features into the data. These can then be used to filter on and reduce the amount of false positive records that are returned. For example, we add categories, addresses and buyer names into the data.

This means that users working with our data could search for “phone” in the technology hardware category and be sure that they wouldn’t return any opportunities for “helplines”. If you the user wants to find data from a region or a specific country, they can add that to their filtering too, confidently reducing the number of false positives.

Our records can also be used to sort and group documents, so that more relevant documents can rise to the top of the results list. Using this alongside features such as highlighting words in the text, recommending similar documents and allowing for additional filtering creates a positive experience for your users.

Building search experiences that are a joy to use are about having good data. If you’d like to know more about our data services, get in touch.

Read more about our data here,or read our blog post on categorisation here.

September 29, 2022

£900k Government Fund To Help Charities Win Public Contracts.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is running a Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Contract Readiness Fund grant...
September 27, 2022

New EU Procurement Instrument Now Law.

About a year ago, we wrote an article on the new procurement instrument approved by the European Union. In recent weeks this...
September 20, 2022

Blacklisting Gets Tested.

Back in June we wrote about blacklisting of suppliers and the Government’s intention to prevent poorly performing suppliers from bidding for government...
September 8, 2022

UK Risks Its Place On Anti-Corruption Body

The UK has been placed ‘under review’ by the 77-country-strong Open Government Partnership (OGP) due to its failure to meet mandatory criteria...
September 8, 2022

Thurrock Exposes Transparency Blind Spot

An investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) into investments by Thurrock Borough Council has led to the resignation of the...
September 6, 2022

New Zealand Government Reviewing Procurement System.

It’s always encouraging when we see governments around the world looking to improve their procurement transparency and efficiency. The New Zealand Government...
September 1, 2022

Collecting Data For Sustainable Procurement In Construction

Over the last few weeks we have been looking at setting a sustainable procurement framework in the construction industry, and what kind...
August 30, 2022

Selecting Data For Sustainable Procurement In Construction

It is estimated that around 40-50% of natural resources are transformed into construction material, and that as much as 30% of all...
August 25, 2022

Setting A Sustainable Procurement Framework For Construction

When procuring construction projects, it can be useful to underpin sustainability criteria on existing policy and regulation. When assessing the enabling framework,...
August 18, 2022

Big Net Zero Contract Win For Small Cornish Business

A small Cornish company has purportedly won a £70bn contract to help deliver the country's transition to Net Zero. The Penzance based...
August 16, 2022

Supporting Sustainable Procurement In ICT

One of the key challenges of sustainably procuring ICT lies in the lack of transparency in supply chains. To overcome this challenge,...
August 11, 2022

Why Is Sustainable Procurement Important For The ICT Sector?

The extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal of ICT products is associated with a number of environmental, social, and...
August 10, 2022

Shifts Towards Sustainable Sourcing

A while ago,  we shared an article on findings by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum that showed procurement is responsible...
August 9, 2022

Supporting Sustainable Procurement In The Construction Industry

Construction projects are usually long and complex, involving the participation of different stakeholders throughout the different project stages. There are certain factors...
August 4, 2022

Why Is Open SPP Important In The Construction Sector?

The construction industry is estimated to account for 6% of global GDP, with Africa's construction market valued at around USD 5.4 billion...


Compelling research, insights and data directly into your inbox.

Recent media stories

The Times
May 30, 2022
August 3, 2021


Scroll to Top