Still Haven’t Found What You’re Looking For? Get Your Search in Shape for 2024

Dec 20, 2023
6 mins read
As the year draws to a close, it's the perfect time for organisations to reflect on their successes and challenges. One area that often deserves a closer look is your Search system...

The Quest for Efficient Search: A Year in Review

As the year draws to a close, it's the perfect time for organisations to reflect on their successes and challenges. One area that often deserves a closer look is your Search system – the digital compass guiding your company through your vast data asset estate. Are you still grappling with inefficiencies in this area? Is it slowing down your employees and affecting business productivity? Is it putting your business at risk of non-compliance, reputational damage and even litigation?

Now really is the time to pause, reflect, and take stock of the major risks associated with poor Search systems, so you can begin 2024 with clear direction to get your Search in good shape! 

Celebrating Successes

Before delving into the challenges, it's important to see and celebrate the successes and improvements your organisation has made this year. Have there been improvements in user satisfaction, are employees finding information in good time and becoming more productive? Maybe you’ve experienced a data breach and were able to respond in a compliant way to avoid fines? Have you successfully integrated an effective Search technology - or at least identified the need to do so next year?

Recognising and celebrating these successes is worthwhile and gives you positive foundations for your full evaluation.

Identifying Challenges

So where to start? Search impacts so many areas of the business it can feel like an impossible task to laser in on where it has the highest positive impact or where a poor search can do the most damage.

User Feedback and Experience

Ask your employees about their experience with the current Search system. Are there recurring complaints about irrelevant search results, difficulties in navigating the interface, or performing tasks with the data, once they have found it?

Data Quality and Integration

Assess the quality of the data at your disposal. Are there discrepancies, outdated information, or challenges in integrating data from various sources? If you’ve undergone a merger or acquisition this year, how successful have you been in integrating and accessing their data?

Poorly integrated data can have a damaging effect on your overall Search efficiency and accuracy.

Security Concerns

Reflect on the security measures in place for your data asset estate. Have there been any security breaches or vulnerabilities that could jeopardise sensitive information? Cybersecurity threats are ever-evolving, and whilst you should do everything in your power to protect your data, being ready to respond quickly in the event of an attack or other form of data breach is essential.


Grown this year? Fantastic, well done! Now, you need to consider how well your Search system has scaled alongside your organisation's growth and the likely increase of data you’re continuing to amass. If your current Search solution struggles to handle the increasing volume of data (and hasn’t integrated the data from newly merged or acquired companies, as we mentioned above), it may be time to explore more scalable alternatives.

‘Out of Shape’ Search - What’s your Biggest Risk?

When we think about the frustrations of inefficient and ineffective Search, we think of just that - the frustrations. However, this doesn’t do justice to the actual level of risk to business efficiency posed by a Search system that is outdated and underperforming. This list isn’t exhaustive, but here are some of the most significant areas of risk we help organisations to mitigate everyday:

Productivity Loss Compliance, Legal Risks and Reputational Damage

Inefficient Search translates to time wasted by employees trying to find information. This not only affects productivity but also contributes to frustration and dissatisfaction among the workforce. VentureBeat reported that Employees spend 3.6 hours each day searching for info, increasing burnout (March 2022) that’s between 28-30% of their day - simply trying to find information!

Compliance, Legal Risks and Reputational Damage

Good search isn’t just for industries with strict regulatory requirements; any organisation that holds personal data faces the risk of non-compliance if their Search system isn’t robust, accurate and highly efficient.

Under the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) organisations have to collect, store and process personal data in certain ways, and must be able to demonstrate their policies at the request of the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), or face significant fines and reputational damage.

Organisations also rely on robust Search systems to respond to Freedom of Information requests and Data Subject Access Requests. Failure to do so within set time limits can result in financial and public reprimands and, again, will almost certainly affect your reputation.

Additionally, failure to locate crucial information in cases of litigation - such as employment disputes - could seriously jeopardise a company’s case.

Competitive Disadvantage

Organisations that cannot swiftly access and leverage their data are at a distinct disadvantage compared to those who can. The possession of data - whilst carrying risks that must be recognised and mitigated against - is ultimately an opportunity to find and act upon unique insights.

A below-par Search system could leave you falling behind competitors who are using their data to its fullest potential.

Setting the Direction for 2024

Armed with insights from your year-end reflection, it's time to give your business direction for an enhanced Search strategy in the coming year. Considering the challenges you’ve identified and the big areas of risk that we have outlined above, which will you be pondering over your Christmas pud?

Whether it’s non-compliance, loss of productivity, competitive disadvantage or all three - a sure fire way to mitigate risk is to build more advanced technology into your Search strategy for 2024.

Cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning such as those embedded into SimSage Find will elevate the capabilities of your Search. Not only can these technologies significantly improve the speed, relevance and accuracy of search results, transforming processes such as responding to DSARs, data breaches and discovery in litigation, they can transform your workflow processes such as redaction and bulk-transfer, delivering a big increase in workforce productivity.

In Conclusion…

The end of the year marks an opportune moment for organisations to reflect on their Search capabilities. By addressing the challenges and your own particular risks head-on, your company can kick off the new year with a fresh commitment to better Search (and all the benefits that will bring!).

Don't let another year pass without, in the immortal words of Bono, finding what you're looking for, get in touch with SimSage - your new Intelligent Information Management Partner.