Skip to main content
All CollectionsOverview of Key FeaturesPolicy Discovery
Insight Engine™ search best practices
Insight Engine™ search best practices

Search best practices and advanced search options

Updated over a week ago

We have range of powerful search features available in Insight Engine™. The options below can help you surface the most relevant results and eliminate what you don't care about.

Docket Search

We provide a number of options to help you control the depth of searches as well has advanced filtering options. These can all be accessed through "Search Scope":

All Content

Includes keyword matches on docket number, title, description, industries, filing parties, proceeding types, AND the full text and metadata of filings and attached documents.  Quotes around a phrase will simulate an Exact Phrase search discussed in more detail below when you want an exact sequence of terms.

Advanced Query options:

Boolean Queries

The 'All Content' and 'Titles, Descriptions, Parties' options support an advanced query syntax for more complex searches within both docket and filing search. This is commonly used to refine a search with boolean logic.  

For example, entering the search terms 'energy storage +solar -wind' is translated into a search where:

  • energy and storage are optional but their presence increases relevance

  • solar must be present

  • wind must NOT be present

When using advanced search, prefixing words with + and - is our recommend syntax where  (+) means the term must be present and (-) means must not be present.

The familiar operators AND, OR and NOT are also supported. However, the effects of these operators can be more complicated than is obvious at first glance. NOT takes precedence over AND, which takes precedence over OR. While the + and - only affect the term to the right of the operator, AND and OR can affect the terms to the left and right.

Note: In all of these examples we are using capital AND, OR, NOT etc. This is required in order for the search engine to recognize that you are requesting a boolean search. Lowercase and, or, not etc. will be interpreted as normal keywords.

Rewriting the above query using AND, OR and NOT demonstrates the complexity:

energy OR storage AND solar AND NOT wind
  • This is incorrect, because storage is now a required term.

(energy OR storage) AND solar AND NOT wind
  • This is incorrect because at least one of energy or storage is now required

((energy AND storage) OR (storage AND solar) OR solar) AND NOT wind
  • This format now replicates the logic from the original query correctly, but the relevance scoring bares little resemblance to the original.

Exact Phrase search using "quotes"

If you use use quotes ("") around a phrase Insight Engine™ will do an exact phrase match on the keywords you have entered. You can also combine exact phrase search with other boolean options for example:

"energy storage" AND "vehicle to grid" +solar

would find results both the exact phrases "energy storage" and the exact phrase "vehicle to grid" with the requirement that 'solar' also be present.

Proximity Search

Docket and filing search also supports "proximity search."

While an exact phrase search (e.g. "energy storage") expects all of the words in exactly the same order, a proximity query allows the specified words to be further apart or in a different order. A proximity search allows us to specify a maximum distance of words in a phrase.

For example find text where the words energy, storage, solar or renewable within no more than 5 words of each other:

"energy storage solar renewable"~5

The closer the text is to the original order specified in the query, the more relevant search results are considered to be.

Proximity searches can be combined with other proximity searches or other advanced search options.

For example:

"energy storage solar renewable"~5 AND "net metering"~3 AND (order OR decision)

Titles, Descriptions, Parties 

This keyword scope searches all the above (titles, descriptions, major parties, and filing parties) on the docket, filing, and document levels but does NOT search within the full text of documents.  To search only in Major Parties, use the Major Party scope.

Docket Number

While a docket number can be found through "All Content" search scope, you can limit your search specifically to docket numbers including partial matches such as 12345 for ‘RS-12345’ and ‘12345-V2’

Major Parties

Only search against docket major parties. This query will return results with partial matches; i.e. Searching with the term ‘General’ will return results with ‘General Electric’ or ‘General Motors’.

Docket Search Results

Search results contain many useful components designed to help you understand the effectiveness of your keyword searches and to save you time by linking you to either dockets or to a specific filing, within a docket result, that is most relevant.

Displays "keyword highlights" to help you quickly assess top results in both Dockets and Filings simultaneously. 

Provides a direct link to the filing page where your search terms appear. Follow the link to go directly to the page where search highlight appears.

Enhances search results with "glanceable" information status (new, active, or inactive), trending indicator, Insights, team comments and summaries.

Filing Search Results

When viewing a particular docket, you can complete subsequent searches within all of  its related filings. Like docket search results, we support "text highlighting" in the filing search results based on keywords used. The results include a highlight of the most relevant text within one or many documents that are attached as part of the overall filing.

Follow the link below the text highlight to go directly to the page where the highlight appears:

Bill Search:

We support the same advanced search options for bills like boolean and exact phrase.

[More info coming soon!]

Update 10-Feb-22: Bill search will no longer automatically filter results to the three most recent legislative sessions as of Monday, February 14, 2022. If you perform a bill search and do not enter any date parameters, it will return all matching results going as far back as we have data (2009-2010 legislative sessions).

Did this answer your question?