TitleEBizPort: Collecting and Analyzing Business Intelligence Information
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsMarshall, B, McDonald, D, Chen, H, Chung, W
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Date Published2004
KeywordsAccounting, BIS

In this article, Marshall, McDonald, Chen, and Chung take a different approach to supporting search services to large and heterogeneous document collections. They propose development of a domain-specific collection by crawling the content of a small set of highly reputable sites, maintaining a local index of the content, and providing browsing and searching services on the specialized content. This resource, known as a vertical portal, has the potential of overcoming several problems associated with bias, update delay, reputation, and integration of scattered information. The article discusses the design of a vertical portal system's architecture called EbizPort, rationale behind its major components, and algorithms and techniques for building collections and search functions. Collection (or more broadly content) has an obvious relationship to the nature of the search interface, as it can impact the type of search functions that can be offered. Powerful search interface functions were built for EbizPort by exploiting the underlying content representation and a relatively narrow and well-defined domain focus. Particularly noteworthy are the innovative browsing functions, which include a summarizer, a categorizer, a visualizer, and a navigation side-bar. The article ends with a discussion of an evaluation study, which compared the EbizPort system with a baseline system called Brint. Results are presented on effectiveness and efficiency, usability and information quality, and quality of local collection and content retrieved from other sources (an extended search operation called meta-search service was also provided in the system). Overall, the authors find that EbizPort outperforms the baseline system, and it provides a viable way to support access to business information.