The Onvia ontology is the brain behind how we deliver our business clients more relevant leads and less noise on a daily basis, and it also helps government agencies sift through the same data via the Onvia Exchange.

But what exactly is an ontology? Quite literally, it’s the study of nature, categorization and the relationships of beings. In the context of business-to-government (B2G) matchmaking, it’s how our proprietary technology tags a project and help clients find the opportunities that are most relevant to their business.

Government procurement terminology differs from agency to agency because no standardized structure currently exist. To address and conquer that challenge, over the last four years Onvia has developed an ontology comprised of more than 4400 tags, supported by thousands upon thousands of words, phrases and term variations. For Onvia clients this means an improved tag based search experience, where they can enter in the type of lead they are looking for, using the terms they are familiar with. The ontology does the work to predict natural language tags to create the most relevant search results.

If the government is buying your offerings, whether product or service based, you can easily find relevant opportunities due to our ontology.

New Ontology Enhancements to Further Improve Client Search Results

Onvia’s dedicated data content team is constantly updating and strengthening the ontology to keep up with the ever-changing B2G marketplace. For example, as agencies procure new and emerging technologies such as cyber security, or as police departments purchase body cameras, new tags are created and existing tags are refined.

Unlike vendors who work with average commodity bid providers, Onvia clients enjoy the benefit of not having to use complex strings of keyword searches that try to capture how government buyers write their bids and RFPs – a near impossible task in an unstructured B2G marketplace. Without having to create keyword based searches, Onvia clients can use more of their time to fill their pipeline with more qualified leads. As the ontology improves, our intelligent search technologies filter out the noise so our clients’ search results become more relevant. Below are a few examples of recent Ontology improvements that Onvia has implemented to further refine client search results:

NEW: The “Theming” Rule

Suppliers are often looking for related opportunities to grow their government sales. For example, a vendor of computer hardware may type the word “keyboards” into the Onvia system, but would also appreciate viewing opportunities for other computer equipment supplies, such as monitors and cables. Our “theming” rule allows the ontology to be flexible, serving up opportunities that can further fill the government sales pipelines of our clients. At the same time, this rule also helps prevent inaccurate project tagging when terms not relevant to the essence of the project are found in the solicitation documents, description or scope of work. The result: more relevant leads and less noise!

theming rule

The “Strict Rarity” Rule

Government opportunities are often issued with long documents that can be hundreds of pages in length - and the majority of that text in those documents is boilerplate. The “Strict Rarity” rule enables the ontology to sift through all of that boilerplate and focus on the most important areas of a project that describe the essence of the work being requested, such as the project title, scope of work or description.

strict rarity rule

Structure Type Tags in Combination with Products and Service Tags

Many government contractors focus their work around specific facility types like schools and playgrounds or structures like roadways and bridges. Onvia clients now enjoy the capability of creating searches that can pair product and service tags with structure type tags to create the most relevant search results for businesses that have these specific focuses.

structure type tags

Our Commitment – To Always Improve the Search Experience for our Clients

Staying current and accurate with the changing needs of the B2G marketplace requires the right partner, and Onvia is committed to helping our clients navigate this highly lucrative yet fragmented market. In addition to increasing the relevancy of leads in our client’s searches, our most recent product releases, like CRM integration for Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics as well as the evidence box, help Onvia users efficiently qualify and pursue opportunities within their pre-existing systems and workflows.

Onvia is dedicated to adding new terms to the Ontology, improving the overall search experience and providing our clients with the most relevant search results in the B2G market.

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