5 Phenomenal Use-cases of Elastic Search Encompassing Different Industry Verticals8 min read


Talking About 5 Phenomenal Use-cases of Elastic Search Encompassing Different Industry Verticals, Since the dawn of the internet age, ‘searching’ stuff virtually has become a rocket science in itself. Google, being the leader of search engines, has come a long way in developing complex algorithms for serving its end users.

However, Google is for the common internet user!

So, what about the enterprises or large-scale organisations?

On February 8, 2010, an open-source search engine called Elastic Search was released to meet this need. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0, it has been written in Java with cross-platform applications.

Why Do Enterprises Require an Exclusive Search Engine?

Large scale organisations have millions of data files embedded in their database, of the order of Yottabytes (1 Yottabyte=10248 Bytes). Now, you can imagine how painstaking it would be to surf through such enormous volumes of data and reach a logical conclusion.

Thus, a dynamic and a ‘supersonic’ search engine is imperative.

So, to begin with, I will give you a glimpse of why this platform stands out from the crowd and subsequently highlight some of its prominent use-cases in different industry verticals like – retail, healthcare, automotive and manufacturing, financial services and government sectors.

Let’s explore its robust features –

  1. Query – Ask any question or perform any type of search – structured, unstructured, geo, metric, etc.
  2. Analyze – Understand the trends of your data easily and derive valuable insights from them
  3. Speed – Elastic Search comes implemented with inverted indices with finite-state transducers for full-text querying, BKD trees for storing numeric and geodata, and a column store for analytics. And, it’s indexed too.
  4. Scalability – Absolute freedom to run it anywhere – either on your laptop or any of the servers – with smooth operations.
  5. Client Libraries – Clients can interact with Elastic Search in a programming language they choose. Also, a library of multiple languages is maintained for easy workflow.

Apart from these, there are many more advanced functionalities that can be custom-made to suit the individual project requirements.

The Use-cases –

Talking About 5 Phenomenal Use-cases of Elastic Search Encompassing Different Industry Verticals, The 5 use cases that I will be discussing further in this article range across diverse verticals and have been handpicked to offer you (the readers) a broader perspective of what difference the Elastic Search platform can actually make to the way we search stuff.

So, here are the industries and their relevant use-cases –

  1. Retail – Shopback
  2. Healthcare – Influence Health
  3. Automotive and Manufacturing – Airbus ADNS
  4. Financial services – Swiss Life
  5. Government – City of Portland

Now, let’s discuss about them one by one.

1. Retail – Shopback


With a network of more than 1,300 merchants in 6 countries, ShopBack provides its users with a host of reward points for shopping through their site.

ShopBack’s current user-search architecture was based on AWS Cloud platform. Due to performance issues, the search functionality was lagging considerably and was not able to keep up to the expectations of the larger audience.

“Through AWS, we were using an older version of Elasticsearch and missing out on the full features and benefits of the Elastic Stack. Also, the service we had was not set up to handle multi-lingual search. So to scale the business we knew we had to make a switch.”

Alberto Resco PerezEngineering Manager at ShopBack

ShopBack made the decision to implement its own cluster, subscribing to both the Elastic Stack and X-Pack.

The first cluster of ShopBack was spun within a few hours. With an excellent indexing support, over 13 million products and 1 thousand different categories can now be accessed seamlessly.

Product searches now take as little as one millisecond and store listings appear in just four seconds!

All-in-all, the transition was an instant success.

(Read the complete case study here)

[Do you already own a Magento ecommerce store and willing to implement Elastic Search for better results? We can surely help!]

2. Healthcare – Influence Health


Influence Health hosts a platform where healthcare organizations can reach out to potential patients through targeted email, mobile, social, search, and direct mail campaigns.

As of 2016, 250 clients use Influence Health’s products in 46 states and multiple provinces in Canada, which represents 1,100 hospitals managing more than 80 million patient records.

The current architecture, based on SQL, was creating a hindrance to find patients based on certain criteria, and also took far more time to process (nearly 2 weeks).

After embracing Elastic Search, the entire process just took 7-8 milliseconds to complete!

X Pack, a component of the Elastic Stack ensures secure storage and retrieval of sensitive patient data and meet HIPAA requirements.

“We evaluated lots of different technologies, such as MongoDB…But ultimately, Mongo didn’t support the real-time queries our business required. Elasticsearch gave us a lot of capabilities out of the box to get the speed we needed.”

Nathan StottVice President of Architecture and Operations, Influence Health

What more can one ask for?

(Read the complete case study here)

 3. Automotive and Manufacturing – Airbus ADNS

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Airbus needs no introduction!

Based in Blagnac near Toulouse in France designs, it manufactures, and markets its products, services, and solutions for airlines across the world. International in scope, the company is established in 180 locations and relies on 12,000 direct suppliers.

Airbus’s ADNS (Advanced Data Navigation Services) deals with the digitization of massive volumes of aircraft-specific technical documents (size = 6 TB) and provide real time access to the same for handling customer queries.

The dual objective behind the inception of this project was satisfying 3,000 requests per minute in less than 2 seconds, and launching its new consulting portal within a 2-year deadline.

Hence, Elastic Search was approached.

True to their time-to-market commitment, the IT team at Airbus Industries could build the ADNS within 2 years, all thanks to Elastic Stack.

“All the end users are unanimous about the performance and the functional maturity of ADNS since its implementation. Its availability is close to 100%, and major changes can be made within the application without any downtime. While the agile development strategy involving a panel of customers was critical to our success, the high-value-added technology of the Elastic Stack also contributed greatly.”

François BedinADNS IT Project Manager, Airbus

Scalability and flexibility await ADNS in the near future!

(Read the complete case study here)

 4. Financial services – Swiss Life

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Swiss Life is a major player in insurance and wealth management and offers comprehensive advice to individuals and corporations. In its catalog are a broad range of products and services such as life insurance, private banking, financial management, health and disability, and property and casualty insurance.

It ideated the Vision 360 project few years back, with an aim to re-architect and digitize its system architecture across all of its web and mobile-enabled portals and applications.

Handling 10 million records and making it available in real-time was a mammoth task and this where Elastic Search came into the picture.

The result was much more streamlined access to data across diverse parties such as salespeople, customers, brokers, etc.

“Speed and reliability are critical — Elasticsearch takes it all in its stride, indexing the data in real time.”

Christian Phan-TrongChief Enterprise Architect, Swiss Life France

Also, Swiss Life has futuristic plans of extending Elasticsearch to manage unstructured data created by customers, and also to expand the amount and scope of the customer data in Vision 360 whilst giving users access to an even broader database.

(Read the complete case study here)

5. Government – City of Portland

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With a population well over 600,000, Portland is the largest city in Oregon and the second largest in the North-western United States.

The Portlanders regularly visit the city website for important updates like community events, utilities, etc.

In order to enhance the citizens’ experience, the City of Portland embraced Elastic Search to power its official website – https://www.portlandoregon.gov/ , which contains over 200,000 pages.

“With such a large, diverse website, searching is a critical feature because it’s one of the primary means our [citizens and employees] use to locate desired information on our SITE. Our experience has been so positive that we will keep [Elastic Site Search] in mind for use with future projects/sites.”

Richard DaviesWeb Application Developer | City of Portland

With an implementation time of just 1 hour, the search-optimized and indexed website was received well by the Portlanders and redefined their search experience.

(Read the complete case study here)

What is the Conclusion?

Talking About 5 Phenomenal Use-cases of Elastic Search Encompassing Different Industry Verticals, Undoubtedly, Elastic Search stands out well in terms of its robustness, flexibility, and scalability. Offering customers such a seamless search experience is not a cakewalk, and the trust factor is not built overnight.

With this, we can hope that Elastic Search will solve many more search queries, in the trillionth of a second, in the years to come!

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