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Government Program - Head Start improves search with text analytics

The Head Start Early Childhood and Learning Center website serves a diverse set of constituencies; parents, grandparents and guardians of children in the program as well as the 25,000 Head Start grantees who provide services.

The department has a large collection of guidelines, best practices, program requirements, training manuals and educational materials yet as the system, services and language evolved over time, users found it frustrating to locate the information they needed without multiple searches due to:

  • Constantly evolving processes and programs introduced new language and thinking
  • Manually tagging of information was inconsistent; each department/group used their own vocabulary. Attempts to create a centralized model and manual tagging were not effective

Head Start charted a course using the Semaphore platform to improve the user experience so that all relevant information could be located with a single search. Using Semaphore Ontology Editor they created a centralized model that contained the concepts, topics and language that reflected the organization and current policies. All information is automatically classified against the model and tagged with precise and complete metadata. Today, information is consistently tagged and users can quickly find the information they need.

“We wanted this tool to bring content out of the cellar that hadn’t seen the light of day for years,” said Townley Knudson, former project director at the Head Start Information and Communications Center. “It did that and showed us lost content that was still valuable.”

To learn how Head Start improved their user search experience, download the full case study

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