Lately, many companies have made the switch from paper to computer-based filing systems. They have learned that digital files can be as messy and haphazard as analog ones. Even though digitizing the documents saves a huge amount of time and effort in the long run, it will serve the purpose only if it’s done right. That’s where document indexing comes into the picture.
Document Indexing is a stupendous way to help your company get your digital files organized. It is also applied to all the files involved in processes across your organization.
But what exactly is Document Indexing? This article will walk you through the definition, nuances, benefits, and also various types of document indexing.
What Is Document Indexing?
Document Indexing is the eminent process that labels documents with certain attributes that can later be efficiently searched and retrieved.
For instance, a company might index documents with respect to client name, customer number, date, or other key traits that could be relevant later. It’s an analytic part of the foundation upon which enterprise document management systems are built.
Why Is Document Indexing Integral?
Document Indexing aids with more than just speedy document retrieval. There are many benefits which are involved in Document Indexing. They include:
As per the recent survey, 49% of the respondents reported that locating documents seems to be problematic for them. It was the top-ranking issue that employees across industries faced with regard to document management in their respective organizations.
Better collaboration and Efficient Workflows:
People work together more efficiently if they have easier access to documents. In a recent study, 43% reported that document sharing was a broken process in their company. As a matter of fact, shared, and indexed documents allow the right employees to access the documents they need, at any time.
Seamless Audit Compliance:
When your documents are already in place, indexed by relevant metrics, then you can easily ditch the unwanted and get the documents in order for an audit.
Most of the workers spend as much as 19% of their time just hunting for and gathering information. But with the right automated document management system, you and your team can spend that time in a constructive way.
Collectively, all of these other benefits amalgamate to enhance your bottom line.
Indexing & Its Types
Document Indexing not only renders multiple benefits. It also provides multiple approaches to indexing. Hence, you can follow whichever one works best for your document workflow automation. Those approaches include:
This type of indexing is involved in document scanning, in general. It also grants you the permission/authority to search anywhere within the text for keywords or phrases.
Automated Indexing Using Data Variables Lookup Indexing
Rather than going with indexing everything in a document, you can prefer variable lookup indexing. It automatically targets key fields, like customer names or numbers, which it yokes up with a database. This is a highly complex process that predominantly requires document indexing software. This software can be particularly helpful for companies that are indexing documents like invoices, in particular.
Metadata is referred to as “data about data”. It may sound more complicated than it is. While going with document scanning or digitizing, you can add metadata like tags and other information that you require for searching later. Later, when it’s time for document retrieval, instead of your document retrieval software scanning entire documents, it scans only the metadata.
Automated Indexing Using Field Data
Theoretically similar to metadata indexing, field-based indexing’ refers to varied information sources within a database.
For instance, you might use field-based indexing to search your database for entries that all have a particular name in the “customer” or “handling employee” field.
How Document Indexing Works
To find out which type of document indexing goes hand in glove, it’s vital to comprehend how each of the relevant parties is about to use the documents you’re indexing. You should have an idea of ‘what information employees are most likely to search for and the terms they use for it. Understanding employee needs is the only way to ensure you’re indexing in a way that will pave way for document retrieval seamlessly.
Given below is a more detailed look at the process for Document Indexing:
1. Use Case Determination
What type of indexing you wish to use will depend on the types of documents you’ll be indexing. It can be the invoices, employee documents, or something else. It’s also predominant to be aware of who, specifically, will be retrieving these documents and the purpose behind them.
2. Indexing Type Regulation
As a matter of fact, some types of documents might not need as much information to be indexed. For example, with regard to invoices, you may just need basic information like vendor name or account number.
3. Index the Suitable Data
Once you have settled on what sort of indexing makes sense, you can either lay your hands on manual indexing or rely on software.
If you’re manually indexing, the best practice will be the double-key method. In this method, two separate people label each scanned document with all the necessary indexing terms. They will also indulge in typing the information they see into appropriate metadata fields for the file. This enables a cross-comparison to nab any errors, in particular.
If you’re relying on software, then all you have to do is designate appropriate rules. These rules will throw light on the apt fields of the document the software should pull from. The best indexing software works hand-in-hand with OCR technology. It allows the computer to read text from images—considered mandatory when going with the digitization of the files.
Document Indexing is a vital element of any enterprise document management strategy and is an excellent way to create more efficient workflows. With precise indexing, any document your employees need is easy to search for and retrieve. With just a few keystrokes, it is possible.
But it can also be a bit tricky to administer reliable document indexing if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal. Hence, an automated document management system is regarded as the need of the hour….