Reuse and Repurpose – What’s that?

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Information Transparency

Reuse and Repurpose – What’s that?

I could write blogs until the age of 110 about the impact of poor search. In my humble opinion, search is bad and we all know it. I think the plan is to have our personal assistants find information for us, but more about that in another blog.

Back to search. In any industry that has volumes of content, and which doesn’t anymore, the reuse and repurposing of content is typically overlooked as being a cost to an organization. According to statistics, when information cannot be found, end users will either recreate the content – do you know how hard that is, I wonder – or ask colleagues if they have it, and when all else fails just not complete the task at hand.

There are associated costs to this for an organization. Although an order for, say, a screw can be replicated without changes, other deliverables to clients, such as proposals, are not identical and do require some care and thought in preparation.

According to IDC, in a survey reported in Information Week, it costs an organization $180 to recreate a document that can’t be found. At any given time, between 3% and 5% of an organization’s files are lost or misplaced. Annual losses for a Fortune 1000 company with one million files amount to $5 million. Now we are talking loss of productivity.

We’ve been there, done this before. One of our clients, headquartered in the UK and a Big Four accounting firm, needed to improve information transparency. Companion requirements included the improvement of the quality of information, and the repurposing and reuse of existing content. With over 231,000 staff you can imagine how hard it was to search for and find the appropriate work product, to be reused and repurposed. As a result, it was recreated or just not done. This erodes productivity and ultimately competitive advantage. Their problem was solvable. Rapidly, in fact.

Using a hybrid combination of SharePoint on-premises, SharePoint Online, and Concept Searching technologies, metadata in the form of phrases, concepts, and multi-word terms is identified within each document being indexed. When this is provided to the SharePoint search engine, end users are able to search and retrieve content based on what documents contain. The hierarchical taxonomy structure is being used as a navigational aid, and staff can refine the search, by topic or concept.

Have you ever calculated how much is spent on recreating information because a member of staff can’t find it? You’d probably be surprised.

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