Are you perpetuating GIGO?
If you purchase the best oven in the world, but fill a casserole dish with dirt, rocks, and sticks, you can’t blame the oven when you’re served a mud pie.
This is exactly the same in information management: garbage in, garbage out!
In the world of unstructured data management, the biggest challenge is how to make the most of all this data? What data? Where is this data? How much of it is there? How do I sift through it?
This is typically what an enterprise search tool helps you do, and if you want to implement or change your enterprise search solution, you have to start with your unstructured data management strategy.
The hesitation among information management professionals is that enterprise search is just too difficult to pull off. Or they may have tried in the past and watched their efforts to derive value from these tools fall flat.
In truth, it doesn’t make sense to blame enterprise search when the underlying files are not curated in a way that allow it to present the best results.
This is the GIGO effect in action: your enterprise search output is only as good as its unstructured data input.
It’s time to highlight the relationships between your content
Many of today’s companies have disparate repositories (aka repositories that don’t speak to each other). One team might use only their file shares while another team puts everything in Sharepoint and another team drops everything into Google Drive. As the size of an organization increases, so too does the variety and number of repositories scattered across the enterprise. This makes it difficult for teams to reconcile information, draw insights from their unstructured data, and work more efficiently by finding the files they need, when they need them.
It’s not just large, complex organizations that have many repositories. Smaller ones can have content spread across Box, OneDrive, file shares, and more, too.
So how do you go about building – and then strengthening – the relationship between the data in your disparate repositories?
You start by building an index that works in the background.
What do we mean by this?
When organizations decide to embark on an unstructured data management initiative, they often start with the technology. This is an approach that ignores the people and processes and jumps straight into implementing a technology. Organizations adopt an enterprise content management tool (e.g., OpenText Content Server or Microsoft Sharepoint) and ask their employees to follow content management rules and always save their files into that specific ECM system. This calls for change management and puts the onus on employees to manage the organization’s exponentially growing unstructured data. Employees can view these tools as an impediment to their work.
An attractive alternative is the ability to create an index of all your most important content. This index (or inventory) works in the background no matter which repository your employees use. Software crawls all of your content repositories and then creates an index that is regularly updated. Modern enterprise search software crawls your important content repositories, from file shares or an ECMS on your local network, to SharePoint or Box.
If you want to amp up your enterprise search solution further, there are more ways to enrich your data. You can learn all about them in our upcoming webinar, “Findability Fuel: What your organization needs to power rich enterprise search” with our Principal Evangelist Jed Cawthorne to learn more. Save your spot here.