Guest Blog post by Julie Vaccaro, Offering Manager IBM Content Classification
Everything in our life is categorized and classified in some
Ask 4 people in one household “where is the proper place to
store the toothpaste?” and you will likely get 4 different answers, including “on
the counter”, “in the toothbrush holder”, “under the sink” and “in a drawer”. This
may work well for a household environment, since every person probably has
their own “instance” of a toothpaste tube. But, what if this is a shared
toothpaste tube, that everyone needs access to? Where is the right place to
store it so that each person can get to it when they need it?
This may seems like a simplistic
analogy, but think about these questions. What if you walked into the Library
of Congress and there was no Dewey Decimal System? What if you went into the
hardware store and the items were not organized by their department or use,
such as Plumbing, Electrical, Paint, etc.? How would you ever find anything?
Now think about your business and all of its unstructured
content. Where do you store content so that anyone who needs it can access it,
use it, govern it and analyze it?
Individuals make classification judgments every day. I might
think it best to categorize all resumes into a single category called “Human
Resources Resumes” and store them all together. Another person, from the Human
Resources department, may believe that you should have a category for each
skill set, such as Marketing Resumes, Development Resumes, Janitorial Resumes,
and the like.
Content should be classified and organized such that it is
accessible, so that you can find it when you need it. Content needs to be
usable so that it is available when business decisions are made, either through
manual or automated processes. Content must be governed so that a business
complies with local, state, federal and business mandates. And finally, content
needs to been analyzed and understood to realize its full value.
Properly organizing content is like building a good
foundation. You need to build a house or some other structure on a good
foundation. When you do that the building of the structure becomes easier,
lasts longer and is easier to change later. If you don’t build a strong
foundation, it does not necessarily mean the structure will collapse, but it
will likely cause problem down the road.
The Bottom Line: To start extracting value out of content, a clear Classification strategy is a must.
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