July 28, 2005, 12:00 AM

Why Dieselpoint thinks faceted navigation produces faster search

In Dieselpoint Search 3.5, which debuted in April, Dieselpoint uses faceted navigation, which allows end users to drill-down through categories to find faster results, rather than just doing a text search.


Dieselpoint Inc., Chicago-based site search software company, is deploying a new application that it believes will cut down substantially on the time needed to execute an enterprise search.

The key to faster searches of enterprise data is the ability to intelligently navigate through information based on the data`s structure and its attributes, says Dieselpoint CEO Chris Cleveland.

In the new version of its software, Dieselpoint Search 3.5, which debuted in April, the company is using faceted metadata, or faceted navigation, which allows end users to drill down through categories to find results, rather than just doing a text search. Users can navigate large information spaces without feeling lost, Dieselpoint says. Faceted metadata also provides users with an interface that guides them toward possible choices. The end result is that users find information they are interested in quickly and efficiently.

For example, an entry into a song lyrics database would contain the full text of the song lyrics, but it could also contain additional faceted metadata, such as the song’s composer, the genre, the creation date, artists who recorded the song, the recording label, the country of origin, and several other self-defining attributes.

"Integrating guided browsing driven by metadata with advanced text search capabilities represents the next-generation of information access for the enterprise," says Cleveland. "The reality is that sometimes it`s best to search and other times it`s best to browse. With our software, users can find the right balance between searching and browsing."

While the Dieselpoint search application supports full text searches, Dieselpoint Search 3.5 differs from other applications by allowing metadata facets to be exposed in the search interface, which in turn enables guided browsing via dynamically-generated hyperlinks, the company says. “This allows users to navigate their own way,” Cleveland says.

Many site search platforms used by web retailers make shoppers use a certain taxonomy to search for merchandise. But if a shopper is more interested in searching a site based on an interest, such as searching for an item by color rather than price, faceted navigation lets the shopper prioritize the query.

Web retailers’ interest in faceted navigation is growing. “We see this requirement in a lot of high-end requests for proposals,” Cleveland says.


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