Information Retrieval – Chapter 1 – Introduction


Information Retrieval
HBR on Knowledge Management

Why did I chose this resource?

One of my mentors, Ophir Frieder, is an expert at Search Engines and he lent me this book to learn about search engine fundamentals. 

What did you learn from it?

There are different applications of search implementations that can really impact different parts of the enterprise. Search isn’t just about “search engines” but really a way of thinking about how information is stored and retrieved. Hence, information retrieval.

Key Knowledge

  • Information retrieval is about finding relevant documents – not just finding the keyword
  • Information / document routing and filtering is another application of search where the queries stay the same, but new documents become relevant.
  • There are two main metrics for effectivness – precision and recall.
    • Precision = relevant retrieved / retreived
    • Recall = relevant retrieved / relevant
  • The goal isn’t just to find relevant documents, it’s to find it quickly
  • There’s a lot of research out there, this book is about putting them in one place.
  • There are 9 different models for information retrieval

How are you using what you learned?

I’ve been able to talk intelligently about search engines and how they are build with both a technical and a scientific vocabulary. This puts me in a different category of “enterprise search” expert. One who cares about the best method for search, rather than just one that works.

Key Changes

  • Look to researching and reading more about information-retrieval
  • Think about our company as one that helps people find knowledge & information – not just organize it
  • Build something that helps people today and tomorrow

How can we as a company or individuals in the company use this?

This book will have to become part of our company’s technical team’s core texts if we are to build search technology for the enterprise. This among other books will help us become a smarter technology company than we are today.

Key Actions

  • Create one process for knowledge gathering, creation, and distribution.
  • Create one page where it defines what knowledge is where : e.g. Dropbox “Assets” or “Knowledge” folder, Google Drive, Leaves, KB,,, etc.. 
  • Index all of our SaaS solutions into one place using our search engine.
  • Push ahead with Gravitron Engine (organize Knowledge & Relationships with machine intelligence)
  • All people learn through our knowledge / learning management system — continuously.
  • Make this work in our company, then distribute the software and the knowledge.


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