As more organisations go digital, the amount of data and information we're producing continues to grow, as does the need to efficiently store and manage this data.
Data is so valuable that many companies are adding it to their balance sheets. However, in many organisations, it's hard to get maximum value from that data because it's too hard to work with it efficiently. Many organisations waste valuable time looking for information in poorly managed filing systems or recreating documents they can't find. To overcome this challenge, companies are increasingly turning to metadata to help categorise important documents to make them more easily accessible.
Workers can often be overwhelmed by information. This is because it's difficult and takes time to find what they need, sort through the pile of search results or trawl through file shares, determine what's relevant, and have confidence that the document they've uncovered is the latest version. Using metadata can overcome all of this and help to streamline business practices.
Metadata is literally information about information. It lets us describe content by using structured information for easy classification. By using metadata effectively, we can significantly reduce the time needed to find relevant documents.
Metadata can be used to simplify searches for documents and minimise the time needed to find information that may be misnamed or saved in illogical and unexpected locations. When searching for information, users can search through both the content of documents and metadata to find what they are looking for.
This approach returns contextual results with more relevance to the original search, as well as narrowing search parameters to find one type of document over others. To avoid irrelevant search results, users can set parameters for the metadata search to only return the documents they need, like contract documentation instead of work-in-progress reports.
By streamlining the search process, metadata can also lead to improved workflow automation and compliance and help to provide deeper business insights in the long run. In our increasingly digital working world, employees need access to their information from anywhere and at any time to be able to match the pace of business.
Wasted time searching for documents can lead to missed deadlines and opportunities. By using metadata, workers can access what they need almost immediately for increased productivity and efficiency. Users can save time and set up automatic metadata capture or input data manually as they save documents for better recording and reporting.
They can also save relevant emails alongside documents with metadata for a more accurate record, keeping all relevant information and documentation together for future reference.
Saved emails mitigates the risk of only one team member having access to critical information. Using metadata to classify the information that emails contain also streamlines the search process for other team members. This creates a genuinely collaborative environment in which all team members have instant access to the information they need to ensure projects continue to progress smoothly regardless of whether a staff member is absent or travelling, for example.
Metadata helps to create a true and accurate record of information for users and can help organisations to maximise the value of the data they possess.
By embracing metadata, information-heavy organisations can empower their workers with access to information when and where they need it. For many companies, metadata is a powerful tool that can lead to more intelligent and efficient working practices.
OnePlace Solutions has helped hundreds of companies improve their workflows, save time, and operate more effectively with information management solutions that include automatic metadata capture. To find out how we can help your organisation, contact us today.