Knowledge base searching

Knowledge base searching

Searching for knowledge base articles is one of the fundamental things that makes knowledge management work.  Users want to find relevant information fast.

HelpMaster provides a number of searching tools to make this process easy, efficient and powerful.  In addition, HelpMaster provides several tools and information that knowledge base authors and administrators will find useful to assist with better understanding the search behaviour of clients.  By using these tools and analyzing search data, the quality of knowledge base articles can be improved over time. 

Full Text searching

HelpMaster uses the power of Microsoft SQL Server Full Text Searching (FTS) engine to perform knowledge base article searching.  This needs to be installed and configured correctly before this feature can be utilized.  For information about this, see Full Text Searching congifuration.

Search terms and results

Whenever any search is performed against the HelpMaster knowledge base, either via the web, or via the Desktop edition, the exact search phrase is stored for a period of time.  By storing the search phrase used, HelpMaster will display the following via the Knowledge Base administration screen.

  1. The search word/phrase used to search the knowledge base
  2. The date of the search
  3. The number of results the search term resulted in

Sometimes, knowledge base searches will yield no results.  This may be due to a lack of appropriate articles, spelling mistakes in the search terms, different inflections in search terms (synonyms, plurals, accent characters etc), knowledge base articles that have been poorly written, or articles that just do not contain these words.  Whatever the reason, HelpMaster allows the knowledge base administrator the ability to examine search phrases that did not return any results, and then link appropriate articles to those search terms.  If no such article exists, it may also be appropriate to create a knowledge base article that people have been searching for.

Improving searchability

By examine the search logs for search terms and phrases that did not return any results, you may wish to associate these terms with relevant knowledge base articles.  Do this withing the “Additional search terms” section of each Knowledge base article.

Whenever a knowledge base article is viewed following a search, HelpMaster will prompt the viewer to rate whether the article was relevant to the search or not.

By cross-referencing search terms with relevancy, HelpMaster can provide further statistical insight into the searchability and relevancy of your knowledge articles.  Using this information, knowledge administrators can fine-tune knowledge articles for additional search words, and gain a better understanding of article useability.

Filtering search terms by date

Use the date filter drop-down box to limit the number of results returned by the search terms query.