Metadata is a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. Metadata is descriptive data that labels a piece of information and provides context and meaning to what that information is. For example, the author, date created, date modified and file size are examples of a documents metadata.
Simple Example of Metadata.
Let’s say you have signed a lease agreement with your real estate company. The real estate company will scan the lease agreement and save it in their system as a PDF document. They may save it as the “Lease Agreement – 125 Kings st.pdf” a very typical thing to do, right?
However, when someone at the company wants to find the lease and the documents related to a tenant named John Smith? or they would like to find all the lease that expired in June? They would have to look through all the lease agreements to find what they are looking for.
Here is where the real estate agent upon saving the lease could add some good metadata to the file to provide content. Such as:
- Execution Date
- Lease Start Date
- Lease End Date
- Property Address
- and any other critical information that is important
This makes the document searchable by any of the metadata tags above regardless of what the lease document was called or where it was stored. The metadata also enables the real estate agent to perform a smart search such as find all the leases that will expire in the next 60 days, etc.
How can Business benefit from using Metadata?
Businesses should invest in a good Document Management system(DMS or ECM). Most business Document management systems have the ability to add metadata to your document files. Some popular DMS are Sharepoint, Box, M-Files, etc. Tagging documents with metadata will allow your staff to quickly access the documents by the context of the information that they are looking for. Some ECM’s have the capability to autofill the Metadata for you. For Example, M-Files is built on a strong foundation of metadata when a user saves a document in M-Files it will use the power of AI to provide all the relevant metadata information for you to review and add to the document.
Document Reminders, Tasks and Workflows
Would it not be good if your information did the work for you rather than you working your information. A DMS will allow you to use the Metadata of your documents for Automatic Reminders and assign tasks to the responsible person. For example, you are responsible for the contracts in your company. You will get an automated email reminder 60 days in advance of a contract expiring. The system will also automatically create a task for you with all the other documents related to the contract, and once you have renegotiated the contract. You can mark the contract to be automatically sent to your manager for approval. With the right metadata and implementing a workflow around your documents, you can have the peace of mind that everything has been taken care of for you, so you can really focus on what really needs to be done.
Future-Proof your Company?
Lets Explore a very common Scenario that most business see day in day out.
When Knowledge leaves your Office? What happens to an organisation when its best, brightest, most experienced and knowledgeable employees walk out the door? What do they take with them, and what do employers lose?
Employee Leaving and the knowledge loss the business faces. It’s something that most companies deal with on a daily bases. A competent employee gets a job elsewhere or takes parental leave or retires. The knowledge and the experience the person holds goes out of the door with the employee. Even after successful filling the position, most organisations struggle longer than what they should fill the knowledge gap. A good DMS will enable the new person to find the information based on the context of the information they are looking for. The automatic reminders and Document workflows will also help them get on top of their work in no time. For example, new employees can search for documents based on the project they are assigned to or the type of document that they are looking for. They will also be notified of any information that needs review with automatic reminders.
We can really go on and on about metadata and its many benefits from google like searchability to assigning tasks and approval workflows based on it.
Looking for more info? Check out the following articles from our archives.
- What is Business Process Automation? Is it an Automation your Workplace can do right now?
- Search your documents like you search the web – Enterprise Information Search
- The Folders Dilemma: Common Problems with Network File Shares and how to overcome them
- Why should you use M-Files over SharePoint Online for your Document Management needs?