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No More Information Overload

Companies must consider how they classify data so employees can find it fast
Vendors specializing in autocategorization tools and taxonomies include Autonomy, Inktomi (recently purchased by Quiver), Semio (recently purchased by Entrieva), Stratify, and Verity. Their products also provide universal search capabilities, which can be closely tied to the structure of the taxonomy. Some even have pre-built taxonomy structures for different industries, which can serve as best practices for building taxonomies.

Broader enterprise content-management tools offer a variety of taxonomy-creation capabilities. While all let companies manually create a taxonomy or content structure, some provide an automated categorization tool. With others, autocategorization can be accomplished only through integration with software from specialized providers.

Divine Inc.'s Content Server Enterprise Edition includes a tool for autocategorization and integrates with Autonomy, Semio, and Verity. Content Server allows for unlimited classifications and properties. The categorization data can be exported as XML documents.

Documentum's Content Intelligence Service, Hummingbird's Hummingbird KM, Interwoven's MetaTagger, and Open Text's Classifications also offer autocategorization and search-and-retrieval capabilities (although Interwoven requires a tool from Inktomi to make that happen).

Vignette Corp. provides autoclassification and metadata tagging by including Autonomy software in its product as well as integration with Verity. It also has an interface for the initial setup of metadata fields and requirements.

FileNet Corp. provides its own tool for metadata searching and integrates with Autonomy for autoclassification and with Hummingbird for full-text searches. FileNet is also working on offering integration with Verity by year's end. IManage Inc. doesn't include any categorization out of the box, but it provides integration with Autonomy for search capabilities. Stellent Inc. integrates with both Autonomy and Verity to enable automated classifications with unlimited properties.

As enterprise content-management tools mature and software vendors continue to integrate taxonomy tools within their applications, content categorization will get easier. When creating a taxonomy, planning is critical and maintenance and administration are required. To succeed, companies must develop an information-management strategy, understand their business needs, and know what types of information users are looking for.

Pat Turocy, Jeff Phillips, and Bob Anders are analysts with Doculabs, a research and consulting firm that helps companies choose and optimize technologies for their business strategies. Write to them at [email protected].

Illustration by Otto Steininger

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