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You’d know by now that data is one of your company’s most valuable assets. And there may be a treasure of valuable information and business intelligence insights sitting within your document management system (DMS).

Your DMS plays a vital role in managing your business data. It helps organise all your digital files and documents in one central and secure location. This enables easy access to important information; thereby enhancing workplace productivity across the whole company.

However, the biggest benefit of a DMS or an enterprise content management (ECM) system, is not just to store and organise documents, but to harness and use the data to make better and more informed decisions that benefit the business.

In this post, we will focus on the hidden value of data, which we call ‘business intelligence insights’. We will provide you with some tips on how to extract valuable information from your DMS/ECM to move the business forward – driving efficiencies, improving processes and maintaining a competitive advantage.

What is business intelligence?

In a nutshell, business intelligence (BI) is a process that helps you analyse and transform company data into valuable and actionable information. It provides the necessary tools and technologies to extract important insights, so executives and managers can make better business decisions.

So, how does BI work with your DMS or ECM?

What valuable information and business intelligence insights can you gain by analysing your business data? How can you get the most out of your DMS or ECM to make better and more informed decisions?

Your document management system is the central repository for all documents and files from all areas of the business - so if you integrate it with BI analytical tools (think something like Tableau, Qlik, Alteryx, or Domo), you’ll be able to harness that data for understanding customers, improving internal processes, and tracking business and industry trends.  

Here are the steps to help get you started in harnessing business intelligence from your document management system:

1. Know what data you have

It’s important to know what business data you currently have and where it is stored. Business information can be found in different places across the organisation – in desktops, network servers, websites, social media, the cloud, and even in physical documents. This is why we suggest starting with an audit of all your documents and files.  

Doing an audit will also identify any inefficiencies in your document workflows and processes. It can help streamline how your documents are managed, reduce waste and expose any security risks.

2. Understand the business objectives

Take the time to understand how data will be used by employees, managers, and executives to support overall business objectives. Consider the following points:

  • What types of data would they require to achieve their goals?
  • What analytical tools do they need to analyse data?
  • How would they access the information – through a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile?
  • What processes need to be in place to facilitate faster data analysis?
  • How would the analysis and insights be presented and reported?

3. Digitise the information

Digital documents are a lot easier to manage and analyse than physical ones. This is why you should make sure that your DMS or ECM solutions can automatically capture, process and store paper documents into digital formats. The audit from Step 1 should be able to help you identify the important documents and files that need to be digitised.

Digitising your business information will not only facilitate quicker data access and analysis, but also increase the accuracy of documents, improve workplace productivity, and even free up physical storage space.

4. Integrate your DMS or ECM with BI tools

Does your document management system integrate well with your business intelligence (BI) tools? Your DMS or ECM needs to work seamlessly with the BI tools, so users can easily organise, extract and analyse the required data, and then report on the results and insights.

Having an integrated document management and data analytics process can help you realise the full potential of both systems, provide better business insights, and achieve a higher return on investment (ROI). 

5. Educate and train staff

How much training would people need to extract and analyse the information they require? All your efforts to improve document management and business intelligence capabilities would be useless if end users can’t properly use the systems.

Make sure you communicate the process well. Conduct training workshops and create user manuals to guide people at every stage of the process. This is where you need to go beyond the actual technologies and understand how staff, managers and executives interact and get value from the process and workflow.

So, there you have it – 5 steps to get the most out of your document management system, discover the hidden value of data and gain better business intelligence insights.

A new ECM will change how people work and affect the way documents are managed right across your organisation. It's not an easy or quick decision to make, but our Enterprise Content Management Checklist will help you consider your options and identify the right ECM to meet your business needs.