Why Linger When it comes to Content Analytics?

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Guest Editorial

Analytics are a hot topic in our industry, as well as in the IT market at large. AIIM’s Bob Larrivee has authored a guest piece for DIR about the importance of content analytics (CA), as well as some of the adoption trends. As a prelude to the article, we asked Bob if he could explain to us where he thought CA sits in relation to Big Data, where it seems most of the analytics focus in the market is currently placed.

“You are correct in the sense that CA and Big Data are similar in their goals of finding useful information that can be used as part of the decision-making process,” Larrivee answered DIR. “While Big Data can include text, audio, etc., many members of the user community see these as complementary and differentiate CA from Big Data in that CA is used to extract information from unstructured or semi-structured content in more of a contextual manner, where they see BD as focused on more structured data sets. CA is also often referenced as a means to expose ‘Dark Data’ that may be hidden within content pieces.” 

There seems to be a question in the market of whether content repositories fall under the umbrella of Big Data. From what DIR has seen, the answer is in theory yes, but in practice no—thus, the need for separate market category called CA. Perhaps it’s this uncertainty that is slowing down market adoption.

 

Why Linger When it comes to Content Analytics?

By Bob Larrivee, chief analyst, AIIM

With the growing amounts of data flowing in and out of organizations, analytics has become a pivotal business tool – yet there are still many who are dragging their feet when it comes to deploying content analytics (CA) solutions.

Content analytics can help organizations across industries react faster, become more productive, and make their processes smarter. Analytics for process automation and business insights can be captured from multiple sources. These include social media, blogs, Web sites, remote devices, and the rapidly accelerating Internet of Things (IoT). According to 27% of respondents to AIIM’s recent survey, Using Analytics – automating, processing and extracting knowledge, content analytics is an essential tool now. Another 59% see it as crucial within the next five years.

But many organizations are still slow on the uptake, which is creating problems. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they were challenged with poor insight into their business operations, while 43% admitted they are addressing challenges related to duplication of content created. This is only going to get more difficult as more data sources come on board.

It is important to note that data capture from remote devices is a burgeoning trend which is also causing analytics issues. Forty-three percent of our survey respondents said they are capturing data from security systems, such as access readers and cameras, while 25% said information is being drawn in from facilities equipment such as HVAC and lighting. Additionally, 51% said data was being picked up from MFPs.

Content analytics can’t be ignored
CA applies business intelligence and business analytics practices to digital data to provide meaning from data amassed from a variety of sources. It provides visibility into the data being created, the nature of the content, and how it is being used. This, in turn, provides valuable business insight and is key to data-driven decision making.

With content increasingly important to businesses, you would think that organizations would be hastily deploying content analytics to gain a competitive edge. But our research shows that this is far from the case. Only 20% said they view analytics as the way to go and are proactively working on it. For 19%, investigation into the advantages of CA are slowly underway, while 14% said they agree it is useful, but no group or individual in the organization has been assigned to look at the possibilities of CA. 

Content comes in many formats
Many organizations are simply overwhelmed. You only have to step back 10 years, and you will see that enterprise content came mostly in simple and easy to understand formats—with the majority flowing in and out as Microsoft Office documents. Today, however, the landscape is much more complex thanks to social media, audio, video files etc. This has made content far more difficult to classify, archive, and access.

 The picture is going to become even more complex. By 2025, analyst firm IDC estimates there will be around 80 billion devices connected to the Internet. Software vendors are busy creating applications to harness this data. Both networks and analytics tools will need to be able to handle this tidal wave of data.

 The value of CA
Enterprises may be slow out of the starting gates when it comes to CA, but they are beginning to see the value it has in providing business knowledge and insight, as well as linking CA with other technologies such as BPM, to automate business operations and processes.

For organizations that have been quick of the mark with CA programs, the benefits are already very clear. Sixty percent of respondents said the intelligence gleaned from content analytics is extremely useful in providing better insight and decision making capabilities, while 37% said it is improving product or service quality. 

In addition, ROI for big content projects has been realized within 12 months for 26% of respondents, with 10% of those indicating ROI within 6 months. Forty-four percent are measuring processing times for ROI and 39% are measuring reduction in manual processes and activities.

 

CA has a key role to play
Our research suggests that both funding and skills are a barrier to the take up of CA in some organizations, who view it as an interesting concept, but not essential to business. Forty-three percent of respondents cited investment as an issue, while 35% said they simply had a lack of expertise to make it happen. To see these as barriers, however, is somewhat ill-considered. Organizations should be identifying opportunities for the use of content analytics, and investing in training now, so they can quickly see the benefits.

Organizations, if they aren’t already, need to start to dive deeper into their business operations, harvest and analyse detailed data about their customers, and utilize their information assets more intelligently. This does not happen overnight. It requires planning, focus, and commitment to continuously improve processes.

Yes, there is investment to be made and expertise is required. But if you are to stay ahead of the flow of data that IoT will bring, you need to be in a position to analyse and process it. This is where CA comes in and, if properly planned and deployed, it can rapidly take your business to the next level.

For more information: http://bit.ly/AIIMCAReport

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