Everything in our life is categorized and classified in some way.
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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