Delivering fast, precise search results through intelligent search

Employing smart solutions, Azure Cognitive Search and robust taxonomy allows users to quickly search, navigate and evaluate results to drill down through content

Client Name

British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), SEARCH

Services

  • Project Management
  • Business Analysis & Decision Support
  • UX & Design
  • Content Management System Implementation
  • Content Migration
  • Custom Development
  • Information Architecture
  • Accessibility
  • Integration
  • Taxonomy
  • Support, Documentation & Training

Technologies

  • .NET
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Sitecore Experience Platform
  • Azure Search
  • Azure Infrastructure

Client Needs

With a new website and CMS implementation, BCSC also wanted to improve the site’s search capabilities and usability. A key challenge was to provide seamless integration of several external content sources and no easy way to handle large result sets not easily distinguishable. The Commission needed a smarter search implementation and a means of drilling down to relevant content.

Our Solutions

SMART SOLUTIONS: SYNCHRONIZEATION AND PLACEHOLDERS

The development team devised a Smart System to handle the external content sources which the old system previously scanned and laggardly returned results from. We decided to synchronize the external content sources and to create placeholders within Sitecore for these items. Each night a synchronization agent runs checking for changes between the source systems and Sitecore placeholders, updating as needed. The placeholder updates include content changes and new/deleted items to replicate the entirety of the external resources in a generic format that contains added meta data to improve relevancy and sorting through facets.

This Smart System allows BCSC to tag content within Sitecore and associate meta data with it. The placeholders are then indexed as part of Azure Cognitive Search, returning faster, more accurate results.

The net effect of searching synchronized placeholders within Sitecore (instead of external resources) is the almost instantaneous results delivered.

TAXONOMY AND FACETED SEARCH

With Bayleaf to as guide, BCSC established and implemented a content taxonomy and leveraged Azure Search’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) based capabilities to return more accurate results. After consultation with internal stakeholders and analytic review of search terms, the more nuanced content resulted in a faceted taxonomic structure. This structure is leveraged in the faceted search UI, allowing users to explore and use filters to drilldown to specific and relevant topics.

The facets allow users to visually narrow their results applying several different dimensions simultaneously, like Cease Trade Orders (7,262 results) + Revocation Order( 2,145 results)+ 2018 (113 results) + the term “Singh” (2 results).

With a thoughtful taxonomy in place, we developed a custom way for Sitecore CMS to automate tagging for distinct content types at creation, streamlining work for the content team. The facets are unique to the Commission and can be updated in Sitecore as terms change or their needs evolve.

With taxonomy providing context to the content, Azure search results are similarly enhanced to display context rich information. Content snippets, content type, quick download option for files, dates, and iconography for improved file type recognition all improve user experience by allowing users to quickly scan and find desired content within large result sets.

Sitecore and Azure Cognitive Search also allow for synonym mappings and natural language searches. This makes familiar terms easy to search for, like NOD for Notice of Discontinuance, or NOH for Notice of Hearing.