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ShiftCentral / Using keywords to filter out the best information

Using keywords to filter out the best information

We’ve previously blogged about the importance of having a clear, well-defined Market Intelligence Map, but I am going to dive in a little deeper today and discuss something that is very, very important when looking for information: keywords.

Once it is determined how market intelligence will be used (some ideas can be found here), Key Intelligence Topics must be created to separate the information coherently. Beyond that, every topic requires smart keywords. Some keywords speak for themselves, such as “ERISA class action.” But, if you search “employee lawsuits” instead, you’re going to get a lot of irrelevant information to pick through.

When determining keywords, it is important to understand the most up-to-date language being used around the topic. At one point, “cellphone” was commonly used, but as time and technology advanced, “mobile device” became more commonly associated with relevant news.

Key words should not be too vague, but they should also not be too narrow. Some words don’t always appear in the same way, such as the “Affordable Care Act,” “ACA,” or “PPACA.” Working with a market intelligence analyst will help you tweak your keywords into what will deliver the best, most relevant results. They also have the skills in boolean search to create complex combinations to shape topical results.

So the take-home point here is: don’t keep keywords as an afterthought when developing an MI Map or MI strategy. They are the main points of information retrieval and will be relied on heavily when searching the vast information base available at our fingertips. Finally, be sure to check in on your keywords and update them often. Stale words will bring in stale information.