Eric Duffy

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The Value of Federated Search in Learning

Articles L&D

A boss of mine once used this phrase when referring to customer pushback after being pitched a new software solution: “A piece of software’s a piece of software.”

Meaning that often times companies have adopted more and more products that ultimately go under utilized and create silos of functionality within the organization. It’s not uncommon for a company to have 2 or 3 contract management systems, a few content repositories, and 5 different sales enablement tools.

This idea is especially prevalent in the enterprise learning industry. Over the years, companies have been sold, and certain departments have implemented, countless products that store, create, track, and report learning content so that employees can get the training they require at the time they need it.

Unfortunately, many of these solutions were implemented ad hoc and now learning professionals are faced with trying to manage a department that relies on accessing content across a sea of repositories, shared drives, and 3rd party providers.

The sales department has training material in SalesForce. Development takes courses on Treehouse, Operations has content in the LMS…..and so on and so on.

Understandably this causes considerable consternation across the organization impacting employee engagement in the learning process. End users need learning content but can’t find it, learning professionals can find content but can’t make it available to users.

It’s this challenge that has made companies look for a better approach. One that allows admins and users alike the ability to search, locate, and consume content in one centralized interface, regardless of where it’s housed.

This is the concept known as Federated Search. The ability to perform one search query across multiple content repositories and locate exactly what you’re looking for. At Pathgather, we saw the growing need for this idea to be applied to learning and development. With an open API companies are able to index all learning content, agnostic of its source while providing one consistent user interface for users. This feature alone drastically increases accessibility, user satisfaction, and course completion rates.

Categories: Articles L&D

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