You’ll probably agree that having more folders doesn’t mean better organization. This approach may work well in an old-fashioned file cabinet but not today’s high-tech world. Everyone has their own folders and methods of organizing them, which leads to a lot of confusion. And confusion leads to lots of wasted time finding information that could be found easily if it were organized more efficiently.
The Many Perils of Folders
According to Gartner, professionals spend more than half their time looking for information and an average of 18 minutes looking for a document. The estimated cost per employee per year of time wasted on these searches is $19,732. That can really add up over time.
The following video shows some of the perils of using folders to organize your data. Can you relate?
Clearly, there needs to be a better way. But what’s the solution?
Metadata for a Simplified Search
Metadata is the key to more efficient document management. It eliminates the need for chaotic folder systems and replaces them with natural, logical organization. Instead of wasting time trying to figure out where specific documents are stored, employees can just perform a simple search to find the needed information instantly, regardless of where it’s stored. Instead of wasting nearly 20 minutes, data is found within seconds.
So how does it work? By using attributes. Attributes are also known as tags. If you’ve spent much time online, you know that blog tags, for example, are used to give search engines a clue as to what each post is about. When a person is looking for information through a search engine, the search engine picks out keywords and uses them to locate results using similar keywords. This ensures the search results reflect the intent of the searcher.
Now, take this concept and apply it to your business. If you need data on a specific product, client, time frame, or anything else, it can be found simply by typing in a tag or keyword, just like with a search engine. But instead of searching the world wide web, your system searches all your data repositories.
If you search the internet for “best Chinese food near me” you’ll instantly get a list of Chinese restaurants close to your location. If you have M-Files and type in a search for “3rd quarter sales 2020” or “Jones Shipping Service,” you’ll instantly get all the data you need based on that search criteria. How? Because everything relating to that search has already been labeled with metadata, or tags, that tells the system what that data is about.
M-Files: More Effective File Management
The days of file cabinets are behind us, and desktop folders have become more of a hindrance than a help to modern businesses. A future-focused business knows that saving time means saving money, and there is no better place to start than with your data management system.