Operations, Log Analysis, and KAIZEN

A Constant Improvement Cycle

Even though Universal Knowledge’s unique UK Rank algorithm is highly advanced technology, technology, by itself, cannot guarantee good searches. Truly good searches can only be provided through a cycle of analyzing present conditions, understanding problems, implementing improvement measures, and recording customer reactions. Although this type of improvement cycle must be implemented manually (that is, it is an art), we at Universal Knowledge believe that high quality search results can only be provided through a fusion of art and technology.

To be more precise, improvements are made through the frequent repetition of the following cycle.

  • 1. Log Analysis

    Acquire an understanding of the present state of customer behavior through the Log Report tool provided by Universal Knowledge.
  • 2. Understanding Issues

    If there are any problems such as there not being product matches where there should be or a suitable product not being displayed at the top of search results, as many instances of the issue as possible are investigated in order to get a grasp of the situation.
  • 3. Solution Implementation

    Implement a solution, whether it be improving the matching algorithm or the ranking algorithm, changing the product data registration method, or any other solution.
  • 4. Relevance Evaluation

    Evaluate the quality of search results through an evaluator (editor). Through use of DCG scores, this is expressed as a value that objectively quantifies search results.
  • 5. Bucket Test

    Confirm figures such as number of clicks or sales, by actually showing the improved search results to a selected group of people.

While this kind of manual improvement cycle is labor-intensive, it is indispensable in providing better search results. Because the eCommerce sites that make up Universal Knowledge’s clientele are not always search experts, they do not necessarily always know the best improvement cycle to utilize. In which case, Universal Knowledge will introduce the basic cycle above in most cases. Providing manual as well as technical operations is one of the core strengths and characteristics of Universal Knowledge.
Other than the above, the following operations work is also carried out.

Zero Match Query Countermeasures

Analysis of causes through extraction of zero match queries (keywords that do not match products) from the Log Report tool. Categorization into cases where the matching algorithm is poor, the product registration method is poor, or where the product was never handled in the first place, and then implement subsequent actions.

Registration of a Thesaurus

Expansion of the thesaurus is a primary zero match countermeasure. Universal Knowledge is capable of registering both one-way (A → B) and two-way (A ⇄ B) synonyms.

Registration of a Morphological Analysis Dictionary

If new product names or brands are tokenized in accordance with existing morphological analysis, there is a chance that the tokenizations will be incorrect, in such cases, a morphological analysis dictionary can be registered in order to achieve the correct classifications.