Metadata is information that best describes any document & its contents. Metadata can include attributes like a document’s date, amount, serial number, title, contact information, document status, ID, etc, as well as other hidden attributes like location of the document on the server, attached template, name of the author, name of the editors, comments, file properties, and more. Metadata is a useful document management tool that helps organise, retrieve & track documents. And because metadata is almost any information essential to an organisation, department or project; it can differ from business to business.
Most documents already contain metadata, which can be extracted and indexed to give users easier access to important information. Some content & document management software also allow users to add additional metadata to documents in the form of document tags, data fields, etc, mainly to help them customize their document indexing, tracking & search processes, based on their needs.
What is document indexing?
Have you ever seen the table of contents of a book or a magazine? That’s what we call an index – a chronological distribution of the book’s content for the reader’s reference. An index provides you with a summary of all the available information, as well as exactly where to find them. The same applies to document indexing. Document indexing is the process of creating a table of contents or an index for your documents using its metadata, to make it easier for the users to search for them. It is important to recognise how many data fields you want to consider for indexing your documents. Too few and you won’t be extracting all the necessary information, too many and you will be wasting valuable time and unnecessarily complicating the process.
For example: Let’s say you want to find all unpaid invoices with a total of more than $1000. You have already indexed all your invoices for metadata like ‘Amount’, ‘Status’, ‘Client Name’, etc. Now, all you have to do is search using the following criterias to find your invoices:
‘Amount: Greater than or equal to $1000’ ‘Status: Unpaid’
All unpaid invoices with a total of more than $1000 will be displayed in the search results.
How does a document management software help index documents faster?
Document indexing, if done manually, is a time consuming and tedious endeavor for any business. Imagine having to sit through countless hours of data extraction every day. Doesn’t sound too exciting, does it? But with the help of a document management software’s (DMS) metadata based indexing, thousands of documents can automatically be indexed within seconds.
Let’s say you want to import all your emails to your DMS’ database, along with their indexing information. You can simply choose which ‘Folder’ & ‘Document type’ you want to import the emails to, and link the chosen Document type’s metadata fields to the fields of your emails, like ‘CC’ to ‘CC’, ‘title’ to ‘subject’, ‘sender’ to ‘from’, ‘date’ to ‘date’, etc. This process will automatically extract & store all the necessary metadata in their respective indexing fields. You can replicate this process for all kinds of business documents like invoices, agreements, purchase orders, and more. You can also import documents, along with their indexing information using .csv files, command line utility, and REST APIs.
Another benefit of using a document management software to index documents is that you can even index scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR allows you to extract text from all kinds of scanned documents, images & PDF files. While scanning any document, you can select which areas of the document you would like the DMS to map for metadata, and it will automatically map the selected areas, and extract & add the scanned metadata to your indexing fields.
About GLOBODOX document management software:
GLOBODOX is a 5-star rated DMS with one of the best document indexing algorithms in the world. GLOBODOX’s Optical Character Recognition & other metadata based indexing features like Email Capture, Zone Maps, etc, allow you to completely automate your document indexing process, and help you locate your documents much faster. GLOBODOX also provides other essential document management features that let you streamline your document management processes, like advanced search, document versioning, automated archiving, annotations, workflow automation, document encryption, enhanced data security, event logs & much more. GLOBODOX’s on-premise & cloud based document management solutions have helped more than 2500 businesses all around the globe, including multinational brands like Hutch, FDA, NASA, Westin Hotels & Resorts, and many more.