That organisations are placing ever-increasing importance and value to the content they hold is not necessarily a new concept. We are all familiar with concepts such as data-driven decision making, big data and the content economy, and there are few successful companies out there that don’t at least try and make sense of the content, data and information they hold.
Yet getting the most possible value from data and content is not a straightforward process. With new content entering the enterprise at a bewildering speed and in a wide variety of different formats, making sense of that is becoming a major challenge for businesses and public sector bodies in 2015. And that’s not even factoring in the enormous volumes of ‘dark data’ that already resides in most enterprises.
Content analytics – an essential enterprise tool?
AIIM recently conducted research with business executives in the US and UK about content analytics – the analysis and deriving of insight from in-bound and legacy content – and three-quarters of enterprises said there is real business insight to be gained from it. Six in ten enterprises said it will be essential within five years’ time.
Content analytics is also seen as increasingly important to addressing risks associated with incorrectly identified content. Respondents felt auto-classification of content helps protect against security breaches, sensitive or offensive content, and exposure to compliance regulations.
More than half of enterprises respondents felt that their organisation is at considerable risk from such threats. Automated classification is also taking over boring and time-intensive tasks like filing and, in doing so, helping to clean up redundant ‘dark data’ and improving the searchability of everything else.
But despite contact analytics’ potential, 80% of survey respondents said they are yet to allocate a senior role to initiate and coordinate analytics applications. This lack of designated leadership and also a shortfall of analytics skills is restricting the potential and holding back the deployment of content analytics tools, according to almost two-thirds (63%) of the respondents.
Improving content analytics
So just how can organisations best get around this shortfall of skills and leadership? And with content analytics becoming important in both managing risk and making the most of opportunity, how do organisations go about making it work for them?
Encouragingly, most of the survey’s respondents expected to spend more on content analytics over the next 12 months, with the strongest growth to be found in enhanced or contextual search, analytics for business insight, and automated classification tools or modules.
That is a positive sign indeed, but any organisation should also be mindful of the following seven ways to improve their content analytics:
- Consider metadata correction agents
- Ensure contextual search is properly tuned
- Aim for full auto-classification
- Take control of your emails
- Use retention policies to control increasing storage requirements
- Implement a digital mailroom philosophy
- Review where content analytics can really help
If your content or records management deployment is stalled due to poor decisions early on regarding classification, metadata and taxonomies, or if you are migrating content from multiple repositories to a single system, metadata correction agents can sort ROT from valuable content, and align content types and metadata.
And also ensure that your staff know how to use it. If you are reliant on more basic search, consider improving the searchability, and therefore the value of your content, by correcting and enhancing the metadata using analytic agents.
Unless your staff are more diligent and consistent at declaring, classifying and tagging records than many are, consider providing full auto-classification, or at the very least, auto-classification assistance. Be aware that your information governance policies need to be updated and consistent as they will provide the rules for automated agents.
If you have no archive, or the archive is ‘file and forget’, you are not only losing potential corporate knowledge, but are also exposing the business to risk, and creating a potential e-discovery nightmare.
Accurate metadata and enforced retention policies are the only way to limit storage, but will also improve your compliance and risk exposure.
Inbound content handling can rapidly overload process staff, and reduce speed of response to customers. Implementing a digital mailroom philosophy, and using automated recognition, routing and data extraction will address this.
Look across the range of your business activities to see where content analytics could provide business insight to understand customer needs, improve competitive advantage, help to solve cases and investigations, or prevent non-compliance and fraud.
Sourced from John Mancini, CEO, AIIM