Take advantage of metadata!

In a traditional file server, users search for documents using a folder hierarchy, which is one-dimensional. The folder hierarchy is designed by someone who thinks it’s the most logical structure for the organization’s documents. The problem is – this is rarely logical for all users.

A metadata structure makes it possible to store, search and filter documents, not just in one dimension but in several dimensions, dimensions that are important for your organization.

The search engine in SharePoint is great, but the findability can be enhanced by adding adequate metadata about the documents. Metadata, tags and virtual folders are words that help identifying and finding documents.

Let’s explain by the following example. In this example we have applied the following tags in Office 365: country, document type and keyword. The documents are stored in Office 365, which in the picture is represented by the cube. The tags are used in Office 365 for filtering or searching.

I am looking for a document about vacation policy regarding French co-workers. I can start by clicking on either tag in any combination. This time I start by clicking the tags in this order “Region”=”France”, then “Document type”=”Policy” and lastly “Keyword”=”Vacation”.

The result:

  1. First filtering: Only documents related to France as a region are shown in the document view.
  2. Second filtering: The number of documents in the view are narrowed down to only show documents related to France as a region and Policy as a Document type.
  3. Third filtering: The number of documents in the view are narrowed down further to only show documents related to France as a region, Policy as a Document type and Vacation as a Keyword.

In the above example there are only three dimensions, you can apply as many tags and dimensions you may need. This is accomplished by tagging documents when you either create or upload them to Office 365.

Download our white paper “Take advantage of metadata tagging” by entering your information in the form. It’s our hope this could bring some clarity on how to think and act.

Download the article