The ACCC

The Organisation

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission promotes competition and fair trade in the market place (according to the Trade Practices Act) to benefit consumers, business and the community. The ACCC stores large amounts of structured and unstructured data in five major collections: the ACCC intranet, TRIM, the ACCC websites, the ACCC proprietary database - TRACKIT and the ACCC Library Collection.

The Challenge

The ACCC required an enterprise search solution which would allow staff and the general public to search multiple content repositories, across a variety of platforms for multiple file types. As an independent Commonwealth statutory authority the ACCC must remain transparent and accountable in its decision making. Accessibility of information is crucial to the organisation as a whole, especially for ACCC employees. It is also essential that all public information be readily available to external users via the ACCC websites.

The Solution - Far Reaching Search

ACCC staff are able to search all of the ACCC collections via the intranet home page. Users have the ability to choose which collection/s they would like to search over.

The intranet: The ACCC relies heavily on its intranet. Vital information in regard to the running of the organisation and its employees is stored on the ACCC intranet and hundreds of employees access it on a daily basis. By default, if none of the search collection options are selected on the intranet home page, a query is run over the intranet only.

ACCC websites: Funnelback crawls and indexes 4 major web sites for the ACCC. Funnelback searches the entire ACCC website including the 3 different information categories based on user context - consumers, businesses and regulated industries. Search also includes all of the public register information contained on the site which can vary from a few sentences through to a comprehensive file of many pages. Funnelback provides a number of scoped searches too, for a number of different sections on the ACCC website, such as: Authorisations & Notifications Registers, the Media Centre, Publications and the Consumer & Business Directory. Scoped search restricts the search to return results within these sections only. Other web sites crawled for the ACCC include the Australian Energy Regulator (http://www.aer.gov.au), Scam Watch (http://www.scamwatch.gov.au) and Product Recalls Australia (http://www.recalls.gov.au).

TRACKIT: TRACKIT is the proprietary database for the ACCC. This Oracle database contains many types of documents in varying formats which can make search difficult. However, some common points of information such as project ID, summary title, information centre complaints, public register matters etc., have been extracted by the ACCC and stored in a set of tables which link back to the original documents. Funnelback is able to crawl and index these tables and return the appropriate document when a query is performed. Funnelback search over the Oracle database allows for more powerful and accurate searching.

The ACCC Library: The ACCC library database (Marc) currently holds about 30,000 documents. The ACCC generate a new index every month and upload it to the National Library of Australia. Funnelback uses this index to assist in searching this collection.

TRIM: The ACCC uses TRIM as its main Electronic Document Records Management System (EDRMS). The ACCC have approximately one million records stored in TRIM with approximately 15,000 new records created every month. Content includes email, correspondence, word documents, excel spreadsheets, images, pdfs, etc., with security permissions attached to most records.

The majority of the collection is public register information such as letters, submissions, complaints, and information about mergers and acquisitions, all of which are scanned as images not text. Media files such as speeches are also stored within TRIM. Metadata for these image and audio files is recorded in TRIM summary fields which is then crawled and indexed by the Funnelback search engine.

Funnelback search extends across all TRIM content including image and media files. It is also able to mimic the document level security attached to a TRIM record once the user has been identified.

Funnelback acts as the conduit for TRIM allowing users to find and re-use valuable information. Funnelback provides a fast, high quality search of TRIM records via a common web based search interface.

The Benefits

The Funnelback Enterprise Search solution allows users to search over vast amounts of information in order to best leverage the information stored within the ACCC. A single point of access to all of the collections on the ACCC intranet allows staff to quickly and easily find the information they’re searching for. The public can also access public collections quickly and easily via search on the ACCC web site.

On the whole, user expectation is met by the user experience regardless of the number of different sources from which information is retrieved. Search queries and results are displayed in a simple web interface, keywords are displayed in the summary information and results are displayed in descending order of relevance. ACCC administrators also have the ability to adjust the ranking algorithm used to determine search results. For example search results can be sorted by date, title, size, URLS as well as many other specified metadata classes.

Funnelback has provided a customisable, easy to use search solution for the ACCC’s large and varied collection of data and information.