How to Harness Intelligent Search with Bing for Business
8 years ago, I packed my belongings into a shipping crate and walked out of my house with only a suitcase full of essentials. Excluding my clothes, I brought along just ten of my all-time favorite albums. For the next 6 months, I would listen to those CDs on repeat, with genres ranging from alternative and house to industrial and indie folk.
Fast forward to the present, and I can stream terabytes of music and ask Alexa to play whatever reflects my mood. What’s changed?
Failing to Filter Information
In this day and age, everyone is exposed to so much information that no one wants to (nor has the time to) make decisions.
In fact, according to a report by McKinsey, employees typically spend up to 1.8 hours daily searching for content. This statistic adds up to an average of 9.3 hours a week; or in other words, 4 out of 5 employees show up to work, with the outlier searching for information, but never contributing any value.
What does this statistic mean for organizations? Well, if up to 19.8% of business time is wasted by employees who are merely looking to perform their responsibilities, then there is a major inefficiency in operations that is severely crippling performance. IDC data also reveals that 60% of executives believe that time constraints and the general lack of understanding around how to find information are preventing optimal employee performance.
The Cost of Not Finding Information
For the sake of this discussion, let’s say that employees spend 2 hours per day (though I’m sure it’s much more than that) looking for files and emails, navigating between programs, and searching the web. Now, imagine half of that time is wasted due to poor search skills.
Can any organization afford to lose 10% of salary expenses for search ineptitude? I think not.
The 20-second clip below shows how I filtered 32,000,000 results down to 3,000 with just a couple Boolean operators. (Think: and, or, & not).
Based on the snippet above, you can see that finding the correct information not only leads to faster, happier, and more efficient employees, but it can also save time and money. All thanks to simple Boolean operators!
Bing: Microsoft’s Search Engine
Launched on June 1, 2009, Bing is a web search engine that’s owned and operated by Microsoft, and it’s the second most popular search engine in the world. However, with more than 1.2 billion people around the world using Microsoft Office, we can anticipate that Bing will continue to grow in popularity. Why?
Microsoft Office 2016 and Office 365 now includes features powered by Bing, meaning users can get greater insights into the data they’re working with—hassle-free.
Want to test it for yourself? Try Smart Lookup in Microsoft Word, insert Online Pictures in Office, or build Bing maps in Excel to plot locations. The native integration between Office and Bing makes it so easy to do what you need to do.
Enter: Bing for Business
Though still in private preview, Bing for Business was launched on September 25, 2017 at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference. But what distinguishes it from Bing?
The way we find information has evolved from navigation to search to discovery. Bing for Business’s intelligent search experience will allow users to find company information, people, documents, sites, and locations, as well as public web results—all in one browser. No strings, no tricks, and no catch involved.
Bing for Business conjoins the internal and the external world for the user, thereby increasing productivity by supplying them with relevant and contextual information using Microsoft Graph and A.I.
(In a previous blog post, I spoke about the impact of A.I. and whether we should be afraid. I’m going to remind you: Knowledge is power. If you’re afraid, learn! If you’re still afraid, learn more.)
Bing for Business Key Features
If you’re looking for the fastest way to access sites, tools, and other information, bookmarks can help you with your search. Bookmarks can range from expiring notes (like company events) to permanent objects (like reporting tools).
People Search enables users to search employees within the company, quickly access their roles, responsibilities, and projects, and contact them directly.
Similar to the People Search function, the Organizational Chart allows users to assess an employee’s place within the company, as well as visualize their peers, management, and direct reports.
Building and Floor Plans
Lost or need help finding someone’s office? Building and Floor Plans can quickly give you insight into where one of your colleagues are or help you maneuver your way around a new building.
This goes without saying, but in addition to the new searchability functions, Document Search allows users to find contextual and related documents within SharePoint and other sources.
Office 365 Groups
Now, you can explore your employees’ Office 365 Groups and associations, as well as search and browse their content.
Bing for Business Industry News
Coupled with Machine Learning, Bing for Business picks up on news that’s relevant and important to your business and personalizes it as a newsfeed on Bing.com.
Management and Analytics
This new feature enables admins to configure, create, and define search terms, phrases, and bookmarks. Essentially, this gives them access to how the employees within the organization are conducting their searches.
I love the idea of being able to do more with less. Better yet, it’s a wonderful idea to consolidate internal company documents with public results in one browser. (I wonder if this will be the added to my favorite Windows Button and Cortana soon?)
Whether or not Bing for Business revolutionizes the way people search for information online, we can all agree that the future of intelligent search is underway, and we can anticipate similar features to seep into our personal lives as well. Ultimately, this means everyone can expect faster and more accurate results, whether they are at work, home, or school.
Let Metalogix Help Your Organization
Not ready to make the plunge into intelligent search with Bing for Business? Even if your organization is ready for A.I. and Machine Learning, you can still make the most out of your Office 365 environment by intelligently managing your users and content.
See how Essentials for Office 365 can help you streamline control over your administration, including managing your users and protecting sensitive content. Try Essentials for Office 365 for free and take advantage of your existing collaboration platform to its full potential!
Tracy is a Microsoft MVP and an energetic, hyperactive adrenaline junkie who sees challenges and issues as opportunities and thrives on improving processes, environments and the general quality of life. Her broad knowledge about IT and Business gives her the ability to communicate on both levels and convey meaningful requirements and narrow the (ever present) gap between the two.