The Power of Metadata

By John Bald


Understanding the power of metadata is an essential component to successful digital transformation. It can be crucial to an organizations future content management solution.

Step 1: What is Metadata?

Simply stated: Metadata is data that provides information about, or describes, other data.

Everyone is aware of Created Date, Accessed Date and Modified Date etc. in the properties of a file. This is metadata.


Step 2: Where is It?

It can be internal, within the contents of the file. Or, it can be external, residing in a database, catalogue, library or an index associated with the file.


Step 3:How is It Created?

It some instances, it can be created manually, but most metadata is created automatically by the applications used to create the file. 

Step 4: What is Custom Metadata?

Custom metadata is data that is added to a file beyond the basic metadata automatically generated by an application. It comes in the form of tags and classifications to further describe and provide additional information about the underlying data. It can be added to a file using other applications like the Shinydocs Discovery Desktop. The process of adding custom metadata can also by automated.

Step 5: What is the Value of Metadata?


With the basic metadata, or even better, with custom metadata, organizations can realize the following benefits:

  • Enhanced search options gaining better accuracy of search
  • Streamlined migration projects by adding migration rule tags.
  • Setting rules on a file for defensible disposition.
  • Flagging files that are known to contain PII(Personal Identifiable Information) that must be managed in order to stay compliant with ever growing privacy regulations.
  • Create connections between seemingly unrelated files, like invoices to CAD drawings, that although different, may be associated with the same project and can be linked with project Id metadata.

The benefits and use of metadata is potentially endless....


Next Steps: 

Learn more about metadata in our blog

Find out what metadata your organization has and how it can be improved with the Shinydocs Metadata Report.

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Tags: Records Management, Search, Discovery Desktop, Cognitive Suite, Metadata

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