Metadata exists for all structured content in your organization, and most unstructured content (i.e., files) also contains basic metadata properties, such as name, size, type, date modified and attributes. Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), for example, contain considerable metadata information, such as number of pages and words, and the name of the person who modified the document last.
But rather than looking at metadata simply from the perspective of the file attributes it can reveal (information on date created or modified, size, etc.), forward-thinking organizations view it from a holistic business perspective. When you consider that it contains specific properties that not only relate to critical elements of the organization, but that can also be proactively applied to drive processes and classify data intelligently – such as by project, customer, workflow, state and other factors – then you start to recognize the powerful role it can play in ECM.
This brings up another key point: what companies need to concern themselves with is not so much where metadata resides, or what attributes it contains, but what the information represents and how it should best be classified and managed. And metadata-based approaches to ECM that enable information to be categorized not by where it is, but by what it is, are gaining ground as the preferred choice over folder-based ECM systems with limited metadata management capability. That’s because it makes for a more effective and faster search to describe what something is rather than guess where it’s stored (which folder it’s stored in, for example).
And to get to the “what” that’s behind metadata, many are turning to a best practice approach of separate metadata management.
Next time we will consider a Best Practice Approach to managing metadata. Be sure to subscribe to the blog or email newsletter to get regular updates.
Laminin Solutions is all about optimising information management and connecting different solutions within a business. Through consolidating information and document flow with powerful easy to use and configurable software tools, Laminin Solutions sets the information in the business free from the boundaries of individual systems. Our focus is to improve the productivity of your business whilst reducing the cost to produce and use information.