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Home >> Customers >> Success Stories >> Center for New York City Law

ISYS In Action at The Center for New York City Law

Tapping the spirit of the Internet's collaborative nature, the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School (www.citylaw.org) looked to broaden its relationships with local agencies by hosting a searchable database of administrative decisions. The idea grew from a request from one agency to post its decisions on the Center's website. Now the site contains information from a range of agencies such as the Conflicts of Interest Board, the Loft Board, the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings and the Office of Collective Bargaining.

Rather than simply hosting these documents for users to browse, the Center felt it would be most useful to the public if the agency's decisions were searchable. Jonathan Rosenbloom, associate director for the Center, went on a quest to find this functionality, and his search led him to ISYS. Recognizing ISYS' ample experience in delivering web-based search solutions for the legal industry, Rosenbloom selected the ISYS:web product to meet the Center's needs.

More than just end-user benefits

By choosing ISYS:web, the Center immediately benefited from a number of out-of-the-box features, including hit highlighting, hit-to-hit navigation, and proximity and Boolean operators for targeted searches. This functionality proved invaluable to website users constructing advanced queries in search of information contained in a wide variety of document formats, such as Word, WordPerfect, HTML and PDF.

Taking advantage of the product's flexible architecture, the Center also configured ISYS:web to go beyond these user-facing features to also enable a number of back-end benefits, including scheduling tools, alerts and site analytics.

For example, although there are separate indexes for each of the site's supported agencies, the ISYS Scheduler gives Rosenbloom's team the ability to automatically update all of the indexes at once, rather than having to maintain each index separately. ISYS also uses alerts three times a day to notify the team of modifications to documents contained in the index. This enables them to maintain a set of indexes that are updated on a daily basis, ensuring that any front-end searches capture up-to-date information.

With ISYS' site analytics tools, the Center can compile reports on its users' search habits. These reports include a list of all search terms entered by users, the Top 10 searches conducted over a specific period of time or the most common types of documents accessed. This intelligence gives the Center's administrators an idea of how the search feature is performing and also provides them with insight into what types of information are most important to users.

A model for success

The Center's primary goal with creating a searchable database of decisions was to drive a higher level of traffic to its site in advance of its planned push for foundation support. By implementing ISYS' search technology and hosting administrative decisions from a number of NYC agencies, the Center has given its audience an abundance of valuable information and a tool designed to help users quickly and easy find the documents that matter most to their jobs. According to Rosenbloom, the results have been impressive.

"We have achieved excellent results with ISYS," said Rosenbloom. "Since October 2002, we have experienced a steady incline in traffic to our site. In addition, since implementing ISYS' reporting tools, we've been able to track a steady incline of people searching the web site."
The Center quickly grew from hosting one agency's decisions to a total of eight NYC agencies, with six more on the way in the coming weeks.

What's more, hundreds of decisions are being added to the site each month. This volume of information is attracting a greater number of visitors every day. Rosenbloom sees the increase in traffic and usage as the first step to securing the Center's overriding objective for its website.

"The increased traffic helps our business in several aspects. For starters, we have become a valuable resource to the City of New York and its inhabitants. Additionally, we have increased our exposure and the number of people attending our events. Our aim is to use this exposure to assist us in seeking foundation support in the fall of 2003."

 

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