Every day employees are tasked with finding data - old reports, proposals, statistics, invoices and more. Searching through data silos, emails, shared drives for useful information takes time. Much effort is expended for limited results, costing every company time and money. The objective here is clear: If the overall process of searching for particular pieces of data could be streamlined, many daily duties for knowledge workers can be quicker and more efficient, leading naturally to more productive employees and a more agile business on the whole.
The need to improve searches
Finding requested pieces of content can be absolutely vital for businesses of all types. In some particular cases, the penalties for failing to find information are clear-cut. If a piece of data is needed for legal proceedings, there could be fines levied for any inability to locate it. Federal or state officials auditing a company's operations will likely impose similar consequences if content is impossible to find.
Customer service can also benefit from easy access to content. With every invoice and piece of shipping information, as well as logs of all complaints and possible solutions, at users' fingertips, customer service workers are better prepared for any eventuality. They can boost loyalty through prompt and helpful responses to requests.
Other reasons that companies need to make data available are less clear-cut but still important. For example, launching a new project without all the pertinent information can lead to project delays or ill-informed decision making. Speed to market and fully informed decision making can be competitive advantages.
Technology to the rescue
The IT department holds the key to helping knowledge workers become more efficient and find what they are looking for on the first search. IDC noted that these professionals currently use more than four hours searching for content in an average week and over six performing research. Improving the processes behind these searches free these workers for an expanded role with a greater focus on improving company operations. Enterprise search solutions based in indexing, like ViaWorks from VirtualWorks can deliver this effectiveness.
Gaining the ability to find exactly what is needed, even when it is stored in an obscure location or saved in an uncommon format, is extremely valuable in today's enterprise. Both structured and unstructured resources are now vital to daily operations. Using a search screen as simple as an Internet browser's is what the latest generation of software solutions can deliver. Whether the content is needed to meet regulations or simply get a promising program off the ground, knowledge workers can alleviate tedious searches and transform their role in the business through such powerful new technology deployments.