Why Metadata is mega important to electronic filing
In 2008, Info-Organiser released Version 8 which saw the birth of virtual ‘Data View’ folders. Client reaction to this new way of viewing data was overwhelming as filing productivity increased tenfold. Suddenly the old Explorer based way of viewing files was gone forever. Our clients actually rediscovered their data and there was an influx of customise requests as they saw the possibility for even more improvements to their filing protocols.
Data View is made possible because of file metadata. The metadata allows deep and dynamic searching of all your documents to create multiple views of your files depending on how you want to arrange them. It’s like being able to auto-shuffle a deck of cards by suite or colour or number or multiples of numbers – get the idea?
But what is metadata?
Metadata is the word used to describe other data, it is data about data.
Let’s pause here for some language background – Meta derives from the Greek, meaning ‘among, with, after, change’. In metamorphosis the meta means change – as in the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly. In metadata (and other technical uses such as metatags) it means something more comprehensive and fundamental; it’s like a description of the data – or the cataloguing of data as either a caterpillar or a butterfly.
How Info-Organiser uses metadata to transform your filing
Before the digital age, metadata was used in the card catalogues of libraries (the info about the info, the content about the content). Today in digital files the metadata of an image could be the size, colour depth, resolution, and artist. The metadata of a document could be the author, title, date saved, length, summary, keywords used, etc.
In workplace generated digital documents there are two metadata sources.
1. User Defined Metadata
This is the data you as the user attribute to the document when indexing or cataloguing into Info-Organiser. Usually selected from a preset drop down box this data can include document name, type, date, status, department, client, etc.
User defined metadata is used to:
Ensure consistency and compliance (everyone uses the same presets).
Feed the Info-Organiser search engine for wide or narrow searching.
Create virtual folder structures based on the Data View you choose.
Show the relationship of documents for enhanced security and accuracy.
2. File Metadata
Each file you create has unique properties that the computer or device stamps the file with, forming the file metadata. Info-Organiser also captures this hidden metadata allowing wider search parameters, eg: by file type, by author, date created, etc.
User defined and file metadata are combined for precise searching using both datasets, for example to search by both document type and author. Or to find all documents created on the same date or date range.
Meta is better
Info-Organiser harnesses your metadata and hands you the ability to control how you manipulate it to suit your workflow and filing protocol needs.
Rather than being a lazy, sleeping caterpillar, your information gets to work, grows beautiful wings and emerges from the Info-Organiser database as a butterfly of whatever colour you choose.