Cognitive SearchWritten by Emily Miller, Senior Research Associate

Stop Wasting Time

More than half (54%) of global information workers are interrupted from their work a few times or more per month to spend time looking for or trying to get access to information, insights, and answers. The problem: Old keyword-based enterprise search engines of the past are obsolete. Cognitive search is the new generation of enterprise search that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to return results that are more relevant to the user or embedded in an application issuing the search query. Forrester defines cognitive search and knowledge discovery solutions as

A new generation of enterprise search solutions that employ AI technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning to ingest, understand, organize, and query digital content from multiple data sources.

Cognitive search solutions are different because they:

  • Scale to handle a multitude of data sources and types.Search is no longer just about unstructured text contained in documents and web pages. Cognitive search solutions can also accommodate structured data contained in databases and even nontraditional enterprise data like images, video, audio, and machine data such as from internet-of-things (IoT) devices.
  • Employ artificial intelligence technologies. The distinguishing characteristic of cognitive search solutions is that they use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to understand and organize data, predict the intent of the search query, improve relevancy of results, and automatically tune the relevancy of results over time.
  • Enable developers to build search applications. Search is not just about a text box on an enterprise portal. Enterprise build search applications that embed search in customer 360 applications, pharma research tools, and many other business process applications. Virtual digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Now, and Siri would be useless without powerful search behind the scenes. Enterprises wishing to build similar applications for their customers will also benefit from cognitive search solutions. Cognitive search solutions provide SDKs, APIs, and/or visual design tools that allow developers to embed the power of the search engine in other applications.

Our new Forrester Wave™ report evaluates 9 of the leading search vendors against 23 important criteria. We identified Attivio, Coveo,, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), IBM, Lucidworks, Mindbreeze, Sinequa, and Squirro as the key players for this report — and researched, analyzed, and scored them in our evaluation: “The Forrester Wave: Cognitive Search And Knowledge Discovery Q2 2017”. (requires Forrester client access, however many of these vendors have reprints you can download from their websites)

Waste time no more. Upgrade your enterprise search to cognitive search.