Reducing the Cost and Complexity of Data Preparation Prior to an ECM Project.

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 29, 2020 10:15:34 AM / by John Bald


Most organizations tend to take an application centric approach to their ECM (Enterprise Content Management) strategy and investment. Having been involved in many ECM and data migration projects, our industry experts suggest that by making an ECM project information centric you can reduce the complexity and the cost.  View the Experts Bios

Large organizations decide to invest in an ECM system because they have massive amounts of data and want all of their critical information in one place so that it is structured, organized, accessible and secure. 

The mistake that most organizations make in their ECM investment is not having a plan to get the data into the ECM and do not take the time to analyze, understand and clean their data first. 


This is easier said than done. You will quickly realize that all of this unstructured data is of poor quality and you have no idea what it is, or what information it contains. You need to identify all of your business records and documents that contain sensitive information but all this unstructured data is lacking metadata and descriptors to help identify it quickly. You need to migrate the valuable business information and get rid of the garbage.

According to AIIM (Association for Intelligent Information Management) data quality issues are a huge concern for any migration project especially the existence of ROT.

Redundant, Outdated (or Obsolete), and Trivial Content (ROT): A migration takes long enough without including terabytes of outdated, personal, or irrelevant information. Where that information can be isolated (and it can be), it should not be migrated, and in fact, it should be disposed of in accordance with the records management program.”

Learn more: AIIM - Common Problems with Content Migrations

User led migration doesn't work. Not all users have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that data is properly classified and put in it's proper location within the ECM. A user led migration is highly subject to human error.

The amount of structured and unstructured data in a large organization is so massive that humans alone are not able to identify and understand it all and the cost in man hours to even attempt to do so would be astronomical. 

But there is a solution.

Our experts clearly state that in order to reduce the cost and complexity of data preparation prior to an ECM project, organizations need to take advantage of cognitive analysis tools that have become available in recent years. Cognitive analysis uses software and applications that  leverage modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to identify, auto classify, tag and prepare data for the next step in its lifecycle, which very well may end up being deletion rather than migration. It can identify all documents that contain sensitive information like PII(Personal Identifiable Information) and IP(Intellectual Property) and flag it for migration into the secure environment of the ECM.

And it does it all at machine speed.

robot migration

Cognitive analysis tools can prepare the valuable and sensitive files and ensure that only the documents that qualify for migration are put into the ECM. It can identify and tag ROT that has no business or functional value which in turn, can be defensibly disposed of.

Automating the migration process using machines makes the impossible... possible, drives down the cost of the project and reduces the factor of human error ensuring accuracy during the execution.

Data is the enduring asset that drives business value. Understanding all of your data first is the foundation of an information centric strategy.


To find out how Shinydocs Cognitive Suite is used for ECM migrations contact us at:

Topics: Enterprise, Records Management, ROT, Obsolete, Risk Management, Information Governance

John Bald

Written by John Bald

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