Document management covers a wide range of tasks. These tasks help businesses streamline the flow of information within the organization as well as with outside parties like customers, vendors etc. The real advantage of having a personal document management software though, is that you can find documents quickly. What is it that makes this possible?
Document indexing is the process by which data stored in a document and data about the document itself is captured with the aim of making it searchable. There are two ways in which data from a document is made searchable. The first is by using full text indexing and the other, by entering “data about the data” – such data is called ‘metadata’. The first method uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or text extraction to capture text from within the document. The second method of indexing captures details about the document under various fields and stores this data to help locate the document when needed. This is done by the document indexing software itself. In this article, we will focus on the second one. The example below describes how it works…
Let us say you have a small law firm using document indexing software. Document indexing is a vital part of part of your firm’s document management policy. This is how the flow of document management in your firm would be:
- A paper agreement is scanned to PDF format and joins thousands of other similar documents in your archive
- While saving it to your document management software, you populate (index) certain searchable fields, like Document Type, Agreement Date, Agreement Party, and Expiration Date etc.
- The document management software stores this indexing data in its database
- At a later date, you need to retrieve the document; so in the search fields, you type in the indexing data; e.g. Agreement Party
- You get a list of agreements signed with the same party
- You select the document you were looking for and begin working on it.
Out of the six steps above, only the second step dealt with indexing the document. Suppose you skipped that step. You simply saved the scanned document to your archive without tagging it in any way. Now if you wanted to search the document from a list of maybe hundreds of documents created on the same day, imagine how much time it would take! You could waste a couple of hours just sifting through the list of such documents. Quite likely, you employ assistants who are paid by the hour. You would find the document, but it could cost you two hours in wages to find just one document! And this could happen almost every day, as working with documents is the lifeline of not only law firms but firms across industries.
The solution is to put in place a document management system that has document indexing feature built into it. Document Indexing Software allows you to index documents at the point of creation as well as later, in case of pre-existing documents that are imported into the system. Indexing a document may take a minute or two of your time, but it can save hours of your productive time, often when you are hard pressed for it. Sohodox is just the software that can help you index documents so you find them in a snap every time – even when you need them urgently.