What is faceted search?
Faceted search is the ability to search through data using filters. It’s often offered on e-commerce websites to allow customers to filter through the products which are available on their website. For example, on a clothing retailer’s website, there will often be options to filter by options such as size, colour and brand. Not only does this allow the customer to search for the products they want more quickly, it also provides a better understanding of what is available to them. Faceted search can also be used by businesses to learn more about their data, as it offers them an interactive way to quickly grasp the data they are working with.
Why would you use faceted search with documents and contracts?
Documents and contracts can be difficult to deal with and their length can make it difficult to find specific information. Filtering options provided through faceted search can provide the ability to filter through a document to quickly find the information required. The same applies to contracts, and can allow us to filter through the terms of a contract to keep track of the important terms stored within them. Contracts are a good example of a long document where it is difficult to pinpoint specific terms, so faceted search is a really useful tool to be able to use with contracts.
How can faceted search help you get more out of your documents?
Through the filtering options available in faceted search, we can allow users to search through their documents or contracts. In terms of a contract, faceted search can offer the ability to search through contract terms such as the start and end dates of a contract, to filter between a particular rent a contract has or to filter between salary values.
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Dynamic filters in particular are important with faceted search as we would like the filters to change and be provided based on the available data. For example, there’s no use in having a “Monthly Rent” slider shown as below, to the left, that has a minimum of £675 and a maximum of £6500 if the maximum monthly rent for a house in our database of contracts is £3000. A user using this filter may become frustrated if they set the slider to £3000 and £6500 as no houses will be returned. As a result, filters need to be dynamic, as shown to the right, so that they change depending on the data they are filtering and enhance the data navigation process instead of making it more tedious.
How does Legislate plan to use faceted search?
Faceted search benefits from documents being machine readable. In order to search through your document, you need to know what you are looking for and a machine needs to understand how to process the document in order to provide filter options. Legislate is working to do exactly this by making contracts machine readable and allowing terms to be searched by users. By categorising terms and building an ontology our users can look through documents to find exactly what they need and get deeper insights into their documents. Legislate is working on offering faceted search in order to allow users to filter through their contracts and make it easier for clients such as landlords and small businesses, so they can easily filter through their contracts to find the key information they need.
Faceted search is a really useful tool that can help both businesses and individuals get more out of their data. It’s an important tool that can make dealing with documents more enjoyable and easier to manage and Legislate looks forward to further implementing it within the platform.
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The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.