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The content is at the heart of the UX, but watch out for silos!

With the dematerialization, the companies pass from the old cupboard filled with files to a plan of classification, certainly digital but always static and at least “siloed”. While silos are part of archiving, it’s time to boost the perception of your documentary ecosystem!

Access to information is changing with the proliferation of interfaces and distribution channels. By dematerializing their archives, their invoices and other documents, companies have moved from the old cabinet filled with paper files and coloured folders to a classification plan certainly digital, but still static and at least “siloed”.

Rapidly access any data

The user must be able to efficiently and quickly access any data, whether hidden in silos or lost in thousands of product sheets. Today, the banking advisor, for example, can handle several applications at the same time, without a professional problem across the board. Everything is compartmentalised. To make an banking advisor effective, he/she needs a 360 ° vision in order to respond as quickly as possible to the clients’ needs, while keeping a precise business approach.

In the ECM, this translates into classification plans. With EDM, Electronic Document Management, users such as banking advisors for example work with qualified, categorised and classified documents, but with a sequence of endless records. This often corresponds to a business view that remains static and fixed in time. For other areas, such as the back office, financial services, compliance management, etc., the views proposed by this plan may not correspond to an effective ranking from their point of view.

Finding a happy medium with a dynamic ranking plan

Having an internal Google indexing documents would be a solution but it is not a panacea, because the user’s point of view is not represented in the list of results obtained. The ideal balance between a traditional ranking plan and a Google is based on a dynamic ranking plan applied to all documents. Several direct interests to this:

– the professionals would find their documents necessary for their own vision much more quickly and while having a reassuring vision of a plan;

– the way to find the documents according to each profession would be dynamised; facilitating the consultation of related documents. The accounting view would be different from the view of the client advisor.

With a dynamic ranking plan, each knot in the tree is a search query. A number of search criteria would be used in the function of professional context.

Views in graphs, in portals, dataviz …

There are also graphical views where nodes are connected by links that are more or less weighted according to certain criteria and with an exploratory document view: thus, the user has access to a document while having the possibility to see all the documents which are connected to it according to a defined business axis. This is ultimately version 2.0 of the traditional filing system. The goal is to be able to combine search queries to refine and filter items.

Also noteworthy are the views in portals that focus on specific aspects such as the application portal with elements of the banking system displayed and, beside, areas where it is possible to display information relating to a management decision, for example.

And as it exists in an industrial context, in the pharmacy industry in particular, and in niche products, we can imagine data visualization with area graphics where it would be possible to drag queries to be executed and returned to documents that correspond on demand.

An intuitive journey in documentary collection

To fully take into account the diversity of professional logics’ access to information (metadata processes, controlled vocabularies, content analysis), there are dedicated tools, such as AmexDV. This document interface is based on a system of graphs to visualize documents by profession. Thanks to its representation in the form of graphs and the appropriate icon sets, AmexDV provides an intuitive way of browsing the document collection, which abstracts from the classification tree, and does not require the use of complex search forms.

Its implementation within an application is primarily a matter of expertise in integration (identification of usage scenarios, control of the number of forms presented on the screens, connection to data sources and choice of icons in connection with the business concepts handled). In the pharmaceutical world, this tool makes it easy to quickly find the maintenance and operating data of laboratory equipment, which is essential in terms of compliance in this sector.

Silos of data reflected on from a professional perspective

Such dynamic filing plans can help you navigate documents faster and reduce clicks. The tree remains but the number of levels exploded is reduced. The data silos must ultimately be reflected in a professional perspective and no longer global. Hence the importance of knowing the professions well, and knowing which one to give which view to, while having the capacity to return to a 360 ° vision where the hidden documents will be highlighted by the professionals’ views.

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Florian Kiebel

Position: Practice Leader IBM ECM

Expertise: 14 years of experience in the fields of EDM, Archiving, Workflow, and in project management

Entry date: 2008

Age: 37 years old

Hobbies/Interests: Rugby and above all the Sporting Union Agenais