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2 min read

What not to Index

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What do the NSA and healthcare companies have in common? They both are likely to have searchable indexes of their data that exceed the size of the data itself. 

What to index really depends on the organization’s data and the level of access required for that data.  Though there’s really no “typical” organization, the norm for indexing is generally between 10-12 percent of the organization’s data.  So if an organization has a terabyte of data, they likely will have another 100-120 gigabytes focused solely on the index.  A detailed index makes it easier to deploy an enterprise search solution, and more importantly, a good enterprise search solution allows users to efficiently find files and save workers’ time.

Some industries may follow the NSA’s example and have indexes that are larger than their current data. Here are a couple of examples: 

  • In healthcare, access to patient information about insurance, past emergency room visits, pre-existing conditions, family histories, and more should be readily accessible at a moment’s notice to ensure the patient’s best outcome.
  • In insurance, it’s important for customer service representatives to quickly access files and reports for accidents or for inside sales team to identify past customers for deal targeting.

For these types of organizations it’s important to have an enterprise search function to quickly access important documents.

Why is the index important in enterprise search?  It helps organizations find information quickly. The larger the index, the easier it is to search for important documents.  Here are a few quick tips to help with indexing your corporate data: 

  • Adjust the index to fit your company’s need. Does your company have a lot of documentation on the same subject?  A robust index will allow corporate users to access data more quickly by including authors, expertise, dates, and other search terms.
  • Determine what will and will not be indexed. The notes an employee takes for his own use during a meeting, for instance, should not make the cut, while minutes of the corporate board meeting recorded by the executive secretary should. Overall transaction and customer service notes should be indexed as they are beneficial to the entire company.
  • Build and frame your index to make the most of its searchability. The more alphanumeric data that is stored in the index, the easier it is to pinpoint the file location – whether it’s on the cloud or in a remote, little-used server in a field office. 

These indexing tips will help your organization better label and access data when it’s needed.  Enterprise search solutions like ViaWorks provides a Universal Smart Index to create engaging content experiences, summarize and predict user interest.  For more information, visit VirtualWorks.com.

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