Indexing is the process of creating searchable information about each document that can be used used to locate documents quickly once they have been digitized. Document indexing adds metadata tags to a digitized document, to enable faster searches. Having the right indexing system also means making sure files and folders are named correctly, as well as organizing the information within a database or CSV file. Indexing is a key part of the process of scanning documents when preparing to load them into a document management system.
Metadata provides information about a document that goes beyond the folder and file name. It provides a way of cataloging information in both digital and paper formats. For example, in a library, the card catalog captures key information about a book such as the author, title, publisher, date, and subject matter. The metadata captured in a digitization project captures important in- depth information about each document, not necessarily found in the folder or file name.
We identify and capture the key metadata fields for each document, which get stored in a database or spreadsheet once document scanning is complete. As an example of metadata, with facilities drawings we capture and store the building name, the project name, the date, the issue, the paper file location, and the disciplines such as architectural, electrical, mechanical. While some organizations rely on the cumbersome method of using folder and file names to find documents, archSCAN takes the information captured much further and allows documents to be found using a much wider range of data. For example, users can search for documents by a date range, discipline, or even by a specific floor. The result is a much faster and more efficient way of finding documents FAST. A person can search for and locate a document using any of the metadata fields that were captured.
archSCAN creates custom databases for each set of documents, allowing the capture of multiple fields of information (the metadata) for each document. These fields are fully customizable and can be modified as needed for each client’s unique set of documents.The database serves multiple purposes: it allows for easy search and retrieval, stores metadata, accommodates organizing of documents according to customer needs, lets CSV files be easily created, and accommodates barcoded separators during scanning that facilitate document naming. The database is our greatest tool when it comes to indexing information and even lets us organize information prior to digitizing it. The database lets us know how to organize the folder structure, what to name the files, and what additional metadata needs to be captured from each document. It automates the indexing structure and outlines the searchable fields of information.
Electronic files can be indexed and merged with newly scanned documents in the database. All documents can by hyperlinked and therefore, the database itself becomes a simple document management system for clients with a tight budget, a smaller document set, or the desire to keep things simple.
Hyperlinks allow the database entries to be linked directly to the digital files. It saves the user time because they can simply search for information in the database and click on the hyperlink to take them directly to the file. This allows you to get to your documents faster. Hyperlinks also facilitate uploading documents into a document management system because the metadata fields are automatically added to the hyperlinked file.
Barcodes have revolutionized how indexing is done. Using barcode recognition during document scanning, we’re able to automatically create the folder structure and naming conventions based on the metadata that was captured in the database. Barcodes allow us to simply key in the information once, thus saving a lot of time. They also allow us to scan thousands of files in batches without stopping to name each file, greatly reducing the time it takes to digitize the information.
CSV (comma separated values) is an indexing method that utilizes tabular data, similar to Excel files. It allows users to import the data sets into a wide variety of electronic document management solutions. It allows for simple batch upload capabilities and creates an easy way to move information from one document storage system to another.