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Improving findability - Part 2 (BP)
This best practice provides recommendations to help users more easily find content in your digital workplace solution.
This article discusses actions you can take when uploading individual documents to make them easier for your users to find. Knowledge Management (KM) is basically the idea that knowledge is an asset to be valued, just like people, equipment, or financial assets. Sharing knowledge is obviously a key part of any KM strategy, but many people think that knowledge has been “shared” when they upload a file to a folder in their digital workplace.
But keep in mind that there are two parts to sharing: giving and receiving. If that document is sitting in a folder that no one ever looks at, it hasn’t really been shared. If you want to improve KM within your organization, tackling the question “How can we make our information easier to find?” can open up new approaches and techniques beyond just creating a folder hierarchy and moving files into it. Here are some additional features of your uploaded document that can be leveraged to make your information more findable.
Special Document Fields:
You might have noticed when you upload a document that there is a description field available. Since this is indexed by the search engine, it’s a great place to put key words that might not be contained in the document itself. The description will also be displayed in the right column when viewing the file, which can help users determine whether this is what they are looking for. This is especially useful for files such as spreadsheets, images, or binary files that might have little or no text contained within them.
Another useful field is Related Content. This is especially powerful when you would like to cross-connect specific pieces of content that do not reside in the same folder or channel. You can add a link without even going into Edit mode – just click on “Add Content” in the box to the right of the document and search for the content you want to link. You can even set it up as bi-directional so that a link to the current document shows up on the other document page as well, all with one click.
Did you know you can rename your documents to something more meaningful than the filename? Keep in mind that document titles are also searchable, so why settle for 08_sales.xlsx when you can have August Sales Data instead? And keep in mind that files are listed alphabetically in a folder, so use that to your advantage. Instead of a random jumble of documents that appear as:
August 2018 Sales Data
Q2 ’18 Sales Leads
Sales Figures for July 2018
Sales Leads in First Quarter 18
Sales Leads in Fourth Quarter 17
with a little thought, you could adopt a naming convention that presents them like this, which greatly speeds a user’s ability to find what they’re looking for within a large list of files:
Sales Data 2018-07
Sales Data 2018-08
Sales Leads 2017-Q4
Sales Leads 2018-Q1
Sales Leads 2018-Q2
Having a good, consistent naming convention strategy applies equally as well to folders and subfolders as it does to documents.
Finally, don’t upload separate files titled Presentation Version 1, Presentation Version 2, etc. Upload new versions on top of the old ones and let Igloo take care of managing the versions for you. This provides several benefits for your users:
- It reduces the clutter within the folder so they don’t have to scan through everything in the list to make sure they have the latest version.
- If they find it via search, it prevents them from inadvertently opening the wrong version.
If that document is important to some users, they may have bookmarked it. Using version control ensures that the current bookmark will always take them to the latest version.
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