Published: March 4, 2013 - 01:00

How does user interaction with search results reveal a three-dimensional structure of information?

Interview with Christian Muntwiler, M.A. HSG, Director, Management Trainer at St. Galler Business School & Senior Consultant at the St. Galler Management Institute by Michael Moon, CEO, GISTICS.


Michael Moon: Let’s start with semantic content creation and the use of a search function for packaging information as a three-dimensional construct.

Let’s go beyond just matching “topics”, and discuss how to use a semantic search utility to self-organize an entire discipline without having to worry about information architecture, taxonomy, and navigation. Perhaps we can use an example of how you promote seminars for sale at Saint Gallen Business School and how you create content well suited for three-dimensional semantic content summaries?

Christian Muntwiler:  We work backwards from the customer’s expectations and behaviors. Generally we know what they are looking for – what they expect as a right answer – and what generally represents a failed search result – what’s missing.

Generally what’s missing is a three-dimensional view of the information and how to quickly filter an often large number of discrete search results in a simple and meaningful way we used a semantic summarization of Mindbreeze to give users a comprehensive summary of an entire website, organized by the underlying concepts – semantic topics – of a user’s initial search.

We believe that customers really like having a complete view of a website through the lens of what’s important to them in any given search.

We also use unsuccessful searches as a feedback loop, enabling us to focus on what customers want and did not find. We also think about what kinds of information customers want and consume from all possible information channels.

It’s often surprising what kind of information nobody is interested in. So we have a lot insights to help us determine what kinds of information our customers want and will consume.

Michael Moon:  So, as a function of the search analytics, or the data that's produced by various contextual searches, this creates a feedback loop, and the basis for ongoing, continuous improvement of, not just the presentation, but on what kind of content is needed, and perhaps missing.

Christian Muntwiler:  Exactly!