Evaluating an Enterprise Research Platform ― Three Things to Know

Business Reference | February 16, 2017

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An enterprise research platform enables your employees to easily find the most current and relevant information any time they search for information.

When evaluating a research platform that can satisfy your entire company’s needs, a lot of questions and concerns pop-up – not just about the tools you are considering, but also the current research strategy of your company and the gaps that need to be filled by an effective research platform. We take a look at three items to check off when it comes to evaluating an enterprise research platform.

1. Analyze Your Company’s Current Research Strategy

Consider meeting with each department head to understand their needs, what is currently working and what they would change. This will help you learn what gaps need to be filled when it comes to resources and user experience, and will also help you to build a holistic research strategy.

2.  Understanding the ROI

When it comes to ROI, examine the return on your investment through the lens of time and cost. Understanding the usage of your current paid resources will help you identify impactful content that may not be widely known to your employees, but could be more popular when delivered through an easy to use platform. Consider how you are delivering the content. When considering the impact of time spent, think about items such as: What is the average amount of time a typical employee spends searching for information? What is the average amount of time spent for a researcher in a specific department? By providing a research platform that minimizes the time employees need to spend searching for information while maximizing the amount of content they find, employees will be more apt to use the platform and rely on the resources being provided. When evaluating the cost of a research platform, employee usage and relevant results that benefit the corporation are key indicators that an enterprise research platform is serving the needs of the employees and the company itself.

3. Calculate the Evolution

It is important to calculate your departmental research needs along with your company’s growth strategy. To determine how your company’s research needs jibe with your current research tools, create a roadmap to define the following: How important is it to have a platform that is extensible and flexible? How important is it to save time and deliver research results within a consistent workflow? If you currently have existing systems in place, have you had to “patch together” these systems to respond to the growing research needs of your company? Can you serve all departments efficiently? What is the cost and effort to update and add to those systems vs. considering a new, unified and flexible tool that can evolve with your company?

Looking for additional criteria to consider when evaluating enterprise research platforms? Download our free check list and get to know EBSCO Discovery Service, the enterprise research platform.

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