Firm Directory - Keyword Search Overview

The purpose of this overview is to provide insight into how the Keyword search capability of the Firm Directory is implemented. On the search page for the Firm Directory there is an option for performing a Keyword search. This search uses SQL Server Full-Text Index to return results based on the provided term and it’s associated relevance. The exact values that are searched are specific to your configuration and effect the results.
Source Content
The source content used by Keyword search consists of three core elements, Profile Properties, Skills, and specific entities that are marked as searchable. The combination of the three determine which results are returned
Profile Properties
The following profile properties are searched when performing a Keyword search. The profile properties that are searched by default include:
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Location
  • Department
  • Title
To include other out of the box profile properties you must update the View  [Entities].[UserProfilePropertiesText].
In addition to the default profile properties, any custom profile properties that are added to the Firm Directory will be include. For example, if you add a Manager profile property, it will be searched when using the Keyword search capability.
Entity Properties
In addition to profile properties, Keyword search will include entity content that is marked Searchable. Determining if an entity property is searchable can be achieved by accessing Administration…Entities
For example, if you create an Entity called Bar Admissions that has a property named Location that is of type Single Line of Text. If you then check the Searchable checkbox, all values in that content will be searched by keyword search. 
Minimum Rank
Within one of the SQL Stored procedures that is the basis for Keyword search there is an option to specify the Minimum Rank that the Keyword will consider to be relevant when returning results. This is used to refine the behavior of the Keyword search to meet specific use cases.
By default the Keyword search is extremely liberal in the results it returns. Meaning, the Keyword search will return people that have partial words and it will return results with any of the words in the Keyword value. For example, if you provide the value John Smith, using the default behavior will result in anyone with the word John OR Smith to be returned. This can lead to confusion as one might expect only people that are named John Smith or have John Smith explicitly in their profile to be retuned. This is not the case rather, the words John and Smith are considered separate but equal is relevance.
If your objective is to have the Keyword search more conservative you can refine the minimum rank value to be higher. This will dramatically change the behavior of the Keyword search to be more stringent in the results that are considered relevant. For example, if you want John Smith to return only people that have John AND Smith you will need to increase the minimum rank value to roughly 100. The important concept to understand is that this applies to all Keyword search once the change is made. In this configuration, if someone types in Neudesic Software both Neudesic AND Software must be present for the profile to be considered relevant.
In conclusion, the Keyword search capability searches both profile properties and entity properties that are marked searchable. In addition, the minimum rank is used to determine which results are returned and can be used to alter the Keyword search to be liberal or conservation when performing the search.
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