Keeping information organized in a company is a critical part of its success. If the information isn’t stored in an organized manner, it won’t be easy to find anything quickly. Folders and subfolders were a common way of organizing information at one time. This method is no longer the most efficient for data management; using metadata is a better system for tagging and retrieving data quickly.
Drawbacks of Folder Method of Document Management
Placing files into folders is commonly used to organize information because it is easy for users to understand. Employees can picture a virtual filing cabinet (a directory) of data folders. Large folders can be divided into subfolders as needed. However, there are drawbacks to this system.
- Content Can be Buried Inside Subfiles
The problem with virtual subfiles is that they can often bury valuable content inside the organizational structure. A user looking for something specific won’t necessarily see inside subfiles.
- Content May Appear Under Multiple Headings
When multiple users create content, it’s possible (and probably likely) that it appears in numerous headings. Each person might choose a header that makes the most sense to them, and they might name the folder and save it in a directory of their choice.
- Existing Categories May Not Adequately Describe Content
Employees may not be able to describe the contents of a folder using the company’s “standard” categories. They may not find an appropriate type if they can’t search the company directory for options.
- Updating Content is Problematic
When content appears in more than one folder, there is no way to ensure the version a user is viewing is current. The company can update its contracts, agreements, manuals, etc.; however, there is no way to guarantee all copies are current.
Content creators must also ensure they aren’t creating duplicate categories. Once an identical category exists, users may start saving new content there. This situation makes finding files much more challenging for everyone.
Advantages of Document Management with Metadata
Creating metadata for every type of content and then organizing the metadata is much more than just creating a ranking system. Content creators can use standard metadata to categorize different types of content and associate it to each one. Some benefits to using metadata for document management include:
- Metadata Places Content in the Right Context
Metadata provides a natural way to organize content. It can be used to create associations and relationships between items and users no matter where the documents are located.
- Finding Content is Simplified
Users aren’t required to search through multiple folders to find the content they need. Instead, they use a powerful search tool similar to Google or other search engines to bring up results from the metadata. The filter can conduct simple searches, such as bringing up all documents with a single keyword or in one category but excluding those from another.
- Content is Current and Controlled
Metadata can be used to ensure that duplicates are not stored in multiple locations. Not only that a meta-data driven system can ensure that the most current version of a document is used and track (and control) who makes changes to it.
These are not the only benefits of a document management system that uses metadata. Metadata makes user and access management smoother. Workflows and approval processes can be automated. Using metadata makes organizations more efficient.
Document Management with Metadata: Laminin Solutions Has the Answers
Is your business becoming slowed down by inefficient document management? Laminin Solutions knows you need to gain control of this part of your business to stay productive—and competitive. Click here to discover more about the benefits of using metadata in your business now.
Would you like to learn more about how Laminin Solution’s products can help your company become more efficient? We take the time to listen to our customers to recommend the right solution for their needs. Contact us today to tell us about what is frustrating you. We’ll find the right solution for you.