What is metadata in SharePoint?

Nalaka Withanage Uncategorised

Did you know 70% of big data comes into the organization in the form of unstructured or semi structured data? This information represents a large proportion of the day to day correspondence with suppliers, partners and customers. Having the ability to manage and share this information internally through a document management system such as SharePoint can improve collaboration between departments or employees and also increase the level of information assurance. Often this data comes in the forms of business documents in the form of electronic documents that requires validation, processing, approvals and allocations before it reach its targeted destination such as you ERP system, accounting system or database.

Organisations adopting SharePoint often implement electronic workflow which allows the information held on documents to be included as part of an electronic business process and incorporated into a customer record file along with other associated office documents and emails. For business critical documents, such as purchase orders and supplier invoices, digitising documents can help speed up business transactions as well as reduce manual effort involved in keying data into business systems, such as CRM, ERP or custom databases.

Most IT departments who use SharePoint as their enterprise content management (ECM) platform rely on end users to add the metadata when adding these documents into SharePoint. But in reality this is the leased executed part of the information governance strategy. On the other hand this is the one of the most important factor in end user adoption of the business solutions you built on SharePoint. Metadata adds the context into the content stored in SharePoint. Metadata makes content actionable in SharePoint. Ability to action on content is what differentiates SharePoint from a file shares. Having a pragmatic and reliable metadata strategy is one of the most important decisions you will need to made upfront in order to leverage the full value of your SharePoint investment. Organisations who had a good vision and strategy for addressing the classic metadata challenge has improved their business bottom line and top line by automating their core day to day document processing and handling operational costs.

Here are 6 good reasons why you might want to consider automated metadata extraction and redaction as part of your electronic document and records management (eDRMS) strategy with SharePoint.

Metadata forms the foundation for high precision content search experience

The quality and consistency of metadata directly affects the quality of enterprise search results. Enterprise Search is a first class citizen in SharePoint 2013. However your ability to gain high precision SharePoint search experience thought out of the box advance search and search refinement requires metadata

Ensure consistent and strong data governance through applied metadata security

Metadata Security for SharePoint enables organizations to protect and securely share sensitive content in Microsoft SharePoint by ensuring that the right people access the right information. Metadata Security enhances SharePoint security by automatically applying permissions to sensitive documents and lists based on their metadata. With proper Metadata Security for SharePoint, there is no need to manually define access rights for every document, and you can be sure that security access policies are applied consistently and automatically across all your sensitive content in SharePoint.

· Ensure the right people access the right information with fine-grained policies over sensitive content

· Use rule-based access control policies to automate permissions reducing SharePoint administration costs

· Ensure consistent and strong data governance Complying with regulations such as ISO 27001

Automatic data redaction removes sensitive content from documents and forms

Privacy is a huge issue these days for those of us who work in the public and health sector dealing with sensitive documents. Data Redaction protects sensitive data in documents and forms from unintentional disclosure by detecting and removing private content from documents. It also supports compliance requirements and prevents disclosure of sensitive data except through appropriate permissions and policies. The modern automated document metadata extraction and redaction software can help you to

· Removes sensitive data in unstructured documents or forms—to prevent internal or external misuse and fraud

· Transforms manual redaction into automated processes—to reduce errors and improve speed and accuracy.

· Helps satisfy regulatory compliance and privacy requirements—by applying data governance controls.

Metadata enables seamless content navigation experience in document libraries

Metadata navigation enables users to dynamically filter and find content in lists and libraries by using a navigation hierarchy tree control to apply different metadata-based filters to the view. Key Filters can be used in combination with the navigation hierarchy to refine the list of items that are displayed.

Metadata enables you to route and workflow business documents for approval and allocations tasks.

Metadata enables you to automate document driven business processes on SharePoint. Automate the capturing of metadata at the point of origination enables you to validate and feed data from documents to process, to get the right information into your processes quickly and efficiently. This is a key enabler for taking the advantage of great document management and routing features build into SharePoint to reduce costs and improve efficiencies in several document centric business processes.

i.e. Invoice Processing, Order form processing, timesheet processing, contract document processing, Incident forms processing etc. HR document processing, Claim forms processing etc.

Metadata enables fast keyword e-discovery and formulate the basis for document retention policies

Managing metadata is the direction of the future, particularly as content management, records management, and e discovery systems converge and consolidate. Deciding what metadata to keep will depend on the needs of a diverse set of interested parties in legal, compliance, records management, information technology, and business functions.

Clearly, metadata has become far more than just “data about data.” Metadata can be used to describe information assets, enhance retrieval, enforce policy, show ownership, demonstrate authenticity, foster interoperability, business process automation and enhance electronic discovery.

Metadata is the foundation behind great out of the box features built into SharePoint. Metadata fields forms content types. Content types forms the basis for document routing, workflow and record management policies. This means the quality, consistency and accuracy of metadata you provide directly affects your ability to get the maximum value out of the built-in features of SharePoint.

Manual metadata assignment has been proven to be unreliable, time consuming and prone to inconsistency. Because of this, a successful metadata strategy is one that relies on automation. Such automation required identifying the correct tools and processes that will enable the organization to automatically and accurately assign metadata to the content being indexed so that the content can later be found and acted upon.

Putting this together, enabling automated metadata extraction with SharePoint enables you to:

· Extract data from documents to process, to get the right information into your processes quickly and efficiently

· Managing your content so that it is available, searchable, secure, and compliant

· Storing your content so that it can be accessible, recoverable and actionable

· Bringing this together, whether behind your firewall or in the cloud, in Office365 and SharePoint