Organizations are dragging their feet when it comes to content analytics (CA), despite the fact that they are dealing with ever increasing amounts of data that has the potential to provide them with business insight they have only previously dreamt of.

I remember that it wasn’t that long ago that CA was thought of as the new kid on the block. But now it is seen as an essential tool to get real value from data and content. Data is flowing into enterprises in a host of formats at increasing speed. The big challenge for business is how to disseminate it and make it work for them.

CA, which analyzes and collects insight from both incoming and legacy content, is now seen by many as an essential business tool.  But surprisingly, organizations are slow to deploy CA.  In a recent survey AIIM carried out for example, just 20 per cent of organizations were found to be currently using CA.  This, in my mind, is a very low figure.  So what is the hold up?

As with many new technologies investment appears to be one barrier.  The second is skills.  To use any tool successfully requires knowledge and the right people at the helm to get the maximum benefits.  CA is no different.

And the good news …

Despite this relatively slow start, organizations are actually starting to see that CA has the potential to mine knowledge and insight, as well as link it to other technologies such as BPM, to automate an increasing number of business processes.

According to AIIM’s research, 27 per cent of respondents said they see CA as essential now;  59 per cent said that it will be critical within the next five years.

In myopinion,it is time fororganizations to take their blinkers off and look beyond the traditional boundaries of business content.  Leverage information more intelligently to help in rapid decision making.

Think out of the box and look how data can be used in other ways than first intended.  Information from utility meters can provide information on usage, but it can also be used to identify trends in different regions or where new services could be offered, for example.

All of this data is invaluable in getting to know your customer better, providing them with the products and services they want and retaining their loyalty, whilst bringing new customers on board.

So where do you start?
If you haven’t started using CA, I suggest you identify a business process where analytics could be used and map out a CA strategy. Planning is key. Assess where the process slows down, what data is involved, and the sources of that data. Identify who is in charge of radical process review in that area, and seek endorsement for policies on analytics use.

Don’t forget to look beyond the corporate walls and traditional forms of data to include social media and the fast accelerating Internet-of-Things (IoT).  Create a strategy to leverage captured and analyzed information across multiple departments and for multiple purposes. Finally, make sure you have a continuous improvement program in place that will regularly review and filter the changes you make now.

If you are unsure of which road to take, get professional assistance and/or training.  Talk to your current suppliers and service providers as well as professional associations and your peers.

CA is quite literally transforming the way organizations do business.  Those that got off the starting blocks early and set out a clear CA strategy are already reaping the benefits.  Don’t get left behind, the data mountain is only going to get bigger. Those that can successfully mine valuable nuggets of business intelligence will be all the richer for it. 

(About the author: Bob Larrivee is vice president and chief analyst of market intelligence at AIIM, and an internationally recognized subject matter expert and thought leader with over 30

years of experience in the fields of information and process management.) 

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