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Search Library: Building advanced search strings
Search Library: Building advanced search strings

Layering powerful NLP technology with advanced search operators can lead you to insights you may have otherwise missed

Mark Jones avatar
Written by Mark Jones
Updated over a week ago

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As you begin to explore searching with Universe, Voice, and Topic in mind, you’ll need to leverage advanced capabilities to pinpoint documents that specifically focus on the themes you care about.

A large portion of these advanced search capabilities center around the Boolean operators built into AlphaSense. While some of these operators use traditional Boolean logic, others pair with AlphaSense’s AI and NLP to provide a more holistic view. Let’s dive into some of our key Boolean operators to show you how to build flexibility or granularity into your search results. You can also explore the full list of our Boolean operators here.

PRO TIP: you can always type a “?” into the keyword search bar to see all of our Boolean operators and how they work.

I want to see broker research that speaks to sustainability efforts with positive outlooks for the 2020’s.

To start, we know that this is a broad search with an unlimited Universe, so let’s focus on the Topic. To get to the right set of documents, we’ll layer on multiple Boolean terms to get to the best results. In this case, we’ll start with the terms “sustainability” and “outlook.”

You may notice that when searching for multiple terms, the AND Boolean operator is automatically included in the search to ensure that all the topics you’re interested in are included within the documents list.

To ensure we’re including all relevant documents that speak to our Topic, we’ll add the OR Boolean operator to expand our search. In this case, we want to see documents that mention the topics of “sustainability outlooks” or “sustainability progress.”

PRO TIP: The AND operator will narrow a search; the OR operator will broaden it.

Next we’ll want to focus on documents that speak to outlooks and progress being made anytime within this decade. In order to narrow down these results to documents the speak to this decade, we’ll use a Wildcard operator (*) appended to “202-”. Now, the results will capture documents with mentions of “sustainability outlooks” or “sustainability progress” within the 2020’s.

The last thing we’ll want to do is narrow our results to documents that only focus on positive sustainability efforts. In AlphaSense, searching the words “positive” or “negative” will surface documents that speak to the topic of interest in a positive or negative context.

These operators, known as Sentiment Smart Synonyms, understand the context and meaning behind language. For this reason, Sentiment Smart Synonyms are a great tool to help you identify topics with a positive or negative connotation and are a great compliment to your search strings.

Now that we have fully developed our Topic, we’ll narrow to our desired Voice. To do this, we’ll filter to Broker Research only.

Please Note: If do not have access, please inquire about your options with your Account Manager

The very last thing we’ll do is Refine our search. While the mentions of my topic within a document can be incredibly valuable, we’re looking to find broker research that focuses entirely on the topic at hand; not that just mentions it in passing.

To identify the most relevant documents, I’ll filter my search Titles Only. This will limit my results to documents that focus completely on my desired topic.

Using these advanced search capabilities, we were able to turn a search with over 400k+ documents into a curated list of less than 50 research reports that speak to exactly what I’m looking for.

These are only a few of the advanced tools available to you within AlphaSense, so we encourage you to try building your own using 2 or more of these powerful Boolean operators. Up next we’ll learn about additional filtering options to empower you to refine your search.

PRO TIP: Interested in learning more about building advanced searches within AlphaSense? Register now for one of our upcoming Advanced User Strategies training sessions!

Up Next

We'll learn about coupling your advanced search strings with other advanced AlphaSense features to further limit or sort your search results

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