The value of intelligent information management

Businesses across every industry are having to manage an ever-increasing amount of information that is, or will soon be, reaching proportions enough to drown them without a capability to identify what is relevant and what’s not, according to M-Files.

It is estimated that only 0.5 per cent of all data created is analysed for operational decision-making.  Out of all organisational information in data repositories, over half is considered dark data. That is, data that is unknown and uncategorised and, if it stays in that state, quite useless for the organisation.

Gartner defines dark data as the information assets organisations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes (for example, analytics, business relationships and direct monetising).  That of course does not mean that data does not contain very useful information. It’s because businesses are not aware of it, that it’s dark.

Furthermore, just 15 per cent of organisational data is business-critical. The other 85 per cent is either redundant, obsolete, or trivial (ROT data) or dark data. The speed of growth for organisational data fast. And, that influx of data is putting a strain on IT infrastructures. Unstructured data, in particular, is hard to manage, unless organisations know what the content is.

Organisations usually use content management systems to manage unstructured data. However, they often fail to manage it all in one common system. And, the sheer amount of organisational data makes it hard to find the relevant data when it is needed.

Metadata is a key ingredient of efficient information management. Metadata, by its definition, is information about the data. It gives common keys to finding information based on what it is, rather than where it is located. With metadata, information can be categorised in a common, efficient way, so that everyone has access to it.

Metadata, while already providing many benefits for organisations, is still only one step on the path towards improved profitability. To efficiently manage all organisational data, organisations need a method of finding, identifying, managing and processing information regardless of its location. They need connectors to access data in other repositories and intelligent tools to find and manage the information they need.

Intelligence as key to success

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools can crawl into repositories and use defined parameters to look for information like personally-identifiable information (PII). AI can also help organisations minimise human errors by suggesting relevant metadata values. Once information is categorised, metadata can be used to create automatic processing rules and workflows.

Intelligent information management comes from a metadata-driven approach to document management combined with the ability to manage information across systems and repositories without the need for migration.

User adoption is typically a major obstacle on the way to improved efficiency when implementing new systems. Therefore, providing tools that offer a wide variety of features to support the whole business, while still being easy to use and manage, is vital for success.

With the help of intelligent information management, businesses can refine how they manage documents and workflows, letting employees focus on adding value to customers and the core business. All of this leads to improved productivity and customer satisfaction.

Nicholas Delaveris, Alliances and Partner Director – Australia and New Zealand, M-Files

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