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What Is Intelligent Search And How Does It Work

What Is Intelligent Search And How Does It Work

The fastest way to describe and understand intelligent search is to define it as a search function aided by artificial intelligence (AI). Instead of just relying on a fixed algorithm, searching using intelligent search relies on AI that constantly evolves and learns. It does so by taking advantage of data collection and machine learning.

How Does Intelligent Search Work

An intelligent search platform goes way beyond just looking for the presence or appearance of the keyword string passed by the user to the system or search engine. It recognizes all the previous input and the behavior of a searcher, and it takes those pieces of information into consideration when performing a search. Some of the most popular search engines are already utilizing this technology.

Compared to that, the most rudimentary form of search is looking up if the keyword string is present in a database. Suppose you search using the term “Lincoln” in a database. A basic search function will return you the entries with instances of “Lincoln” in them. Say that the search function deals with web pages. It will then potentially return the article talking about the American president, Abraham Lincoln.

Graphic Representation of Two Uninformed (Blind) Search Algorithms

However, you might be more interested in finding a store or street named Lincoln. While it might be logically sound that the basic search returns the article about President Lincoln, it might be remarkably convenient if it returns the store or street called “Lincoln” instead. That’s what intelligent search does.

Intelligent search is artificial intelligence helping you find what you’re looking for based on contextual clues you provide as if you’re asking a human being to find something you want. All the interactions you had with the search engine, or even external programs, can influence how it can provide you results later on.

Why Is Intelligent Search Important in Enterprises and Businesses

Intelligent search has recently been integrated into business applications. Often, it’s referred to as enterprise search. Its integration aims to make information more accessible and more efficient to use for employees and everyone in an organization.

But why? Why do businesses need intelligent search? While a simple search functionality can help employees find the file they need, it’s not that simple anymore.

In addition to businesses changing how they store data, files, and information, they’ve also changed the quantity of data they hold and accumulate. A few years ago, most businesses transformed digitally. They realized how vital analytics is and the importance of monitoring and gathering more data from metrics, reports, and analyses. 

The Case for Big Data

At this point, most have shifted to gathering customer information using their customer management systems (CMSs). They now stand to gain collecting personal, engagement, behavioral, and attitudinal data. They use this data to improve customer experience, refine marketing strategies, transform data into cash, and even get more data.

Next, they’ve understood how important big data can be to their growth. And they don’t just buy big data: they generate it. Some retail stores are now even planning to have the capability to discern buyer intent through data collection and the use of Internet-of-Things (IoT) like radio frequency (RF) transmitters.

A Whole New World of Possibilities

Finally, they’ve already stepped into storing multimedia files—video and audio data that they may need now or later. And the list goes on. If one were to store the amount of information a single company stores and uses in their physical forms, they would need a couple of buildings filled with thousands of filing cabinets. 

As you may surmise, a simple search function wouldn’t be enough when you have ridiculously huge amounts of data. A simple keyword term like “Lincoln” would return hundreds of results, but the searcher may not instantly find what they need. Does the searcher need the video, address, product, street, and other things related to the word “Lincoln?” That’s where intelligent search comes to the rescue. Instead of employees wasting their time mangling with a search engine, they’re provided instant results and what they need.

What Are the Other Purposes of Intelligent Search

Aside from making it easy for searchers to find what they’re looking for, intelligent search also helps with modern business dilemmas. Intelligent search can help overcome language barriers, manage unstructured data, eliminate data silos, optimize data storage, and others.

Currently, the additional benefits depend entirely on the vendor where you’ll get your intelligent search. Most vendors will attach bells and whistles to their intelligent search service to help businesses enhance how they deal with business intelligence. Choosing the vendor is the real challenge when implementing this technology. 

What Is the Future of Intelligent Search

As of now, intelligent search is enjoyed by enterprises and businesses that primarily deal with data. A few e-commerce businesses are utilizing it to power their portals, customer support, and other business workflows. And in the future, it’s expected that this technology will be used widely by small and big companies alike. After all, AI is the future.

And unlike other tech, intelligent search is guaranteed and bound to be better in the future. As machine learning progresses and countless data are sampled, businesses and even laypersons can inevitably see the power of AI-backed search.


Intelligent search is a search functionality backed by artificial intelligence. Its primary role in businesses is to improve the efficiency of business workflows by making information and data easily accessible to everyone. Instead of forcing users to be highly specific with their searches, they can just search as if they’re talking to another human being, which often results in faster and more convenient search results. At the same time, it allows a company to do a better job at managing and storing the data they collect and store.

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