Below is a blog post written by Carla Mulley, Vice President of Marketing at Concept Searching. Concept Searching and Gimmal are working together to offer more intelligent records management capabilities to organizations of all sizes.
We're excited to share this excellent perspective on why we need to start seriously working to remove the metadata burden our information systems require of users.
Technology must be a business enabler, solve a challenge, or improve a business process. If not, it is of no value. Innovation continues to be the word of the day but digital innovation for most organizations is out of reach as they struggle with day-to-day issues such as cyber security, compliance, privacy and governance. The need to assimilate new forms of content such as blogs, text messaging, tweets, Facebook, voice, or video into the records management process is a challenge few organizations have mastered.
Right now, the "save everything or save nothing" approach prevails, both options dramatically increasing organizational risk. With information now scattered across on-premise, cloud, and hybrid environments, records management professionals can no longer focus on improving traditional processes but must employ a holistic governance approach that encompasses all records regardless of where they reside or how they were created or ingested.
Records no longer depend on the medium, the physical form or the characteristics. Information competency, the veracity of information, and the so-called "single source of truth" remain elusive.
Applying and Generating Metadata
Metadata is today's digital currency. Automating the generation, collection, and classification of metadata to an enterprise metadata repository places the management and refinement of the corpus of unstructured, semi-structured, and structured (if required) data into the hands of the domain experts and records management professionals. Without a tool, it is not feasible to accurately tag all forms of unstructured digital information to a consistent enterprise standard and apply lifecycle management to all content, regardless of format or where it resides.
There are several tools that can apply and generate metadata. Others are application-specific to address the vagaries of social media content requiring organizations to purchase multiple software packages increasing the cost, time, and effort to incorporate social media into the legal and lifecycle management process.
Concepts, not Keywords
It is important to explore all options and realize that not all metadata capture and categorization technologies are created equal. For example, if you take the phrase “triple heart bypass”, in a keyword or proximity system it would return all documents that contain the word ‘triple’ (baseball, three), all the content that contains the word “heart” (core, center, love) and bypass (highway, avoid). Quite a difference than knowing the words represented the concept ‘triple heart bypass’. In addition, the technology should be able to auto-suggest other relevant documents even though they didn’t contain the exact search word, such as ‘coronary artery surgery’.
An enterprise metadata repository should be adopted by all organizations as a core infrastructure component. The technology framework must be able to accommodate all forms of unstructured data, be easily deployed and easily managed by records professionals and domain experts. Ignoring the proactive management of metadata puts the organization in a very precarious position, open to data breaches, noncompliance, and carries high stake eDiscovery and litigation ramifications. At a more basic level it impacts search and information transparency, decision making, productivity, and escalates the cost of doing business.
All in all, without proactive metadata management encompassing the lifecycle of all content, organizations will learn the hard way, potentially at significant cost. Once bitten twice shy.