Getting Started with Query Understanding
A user types “black clutch” into your search engine. Do they mean the handbag, the automobile part, or something else entirely?
Search is about matching the intent of the user with the information they need. For decades, “relevance” in information retrieval systems has meant things like BM25, TFIDF, field boosting, document boosting, etc. These simple heuristics and strategies have served us well, but ultimately fall short because they fail to semantically model intent. Our systems don’t actually understand what users want, they just hope a few magic numbers will get us close enough.
Query Understanding is about using real intelligence to put users first. In this session, we’ll talk about what Query Understanding is, why it’s important, and some practical strategies for making your search experience smarter.
Gio Fernandez-Kincade has been working with data, architecting systems, and leading teams of engineers for over a decade. He’s currently co-founder at Related Works, a problem-solving product studio and consultancy focused on the intersection of search, data, and human interaction. At Etsy he was a Staff Software Engineer that lead the Search Ranking Team, which was responsible for the effectiveness and fairness of Etsy’s core search algorithm, and previously lead the Search Experience Team which worked on the entire Search user experience. He's focused on Search from the ground up: infrastructure, ranking and machine-learned relevance, diversity, fairness, autosuggest, faceting, navigation, taxonomy, mobile, experimentation, etc. Prior to working at Etsy, Gio worked at CapitalIQ where he designed, built, and maintained a multi-terabyte database, real-time processing-system, and search engine for globally-sourced financial reports. On weekends and early weekday mornings you can find him surfing in sunny Rockaway Beach, NY.
Eddie will discuss Search Analytics and it’s role in the modern search engine. By capturing simple data points in Elasticsearch, we can use Kibana to create KPI visualizations for us through time. Eddie will demonstrate creating some of these visualizations in Kibana, as well as some of the features of x-pack, that can help improve relevance and the overall user experience.
Eddie Kyriacou is a Solutions Architect at Elastic. He has over 8 years of experience architecting, implementing and supporting enterprise search applications, with Autonomy IDOL as well as open source projects. Currently, he supports the technical needs of Elastic customers and helps organizations learn how to get real-time insights into their data using Elastic products.
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