AIIM - The Global Community of Information Professionals

The New Information Professional – Why I Let Nothing Stop Me from Getting Certified

Jun 27, 2017 9:33:02 AM by Pam Doyle, CIP

I’m way too old for this! Seriously, do you know how long it’s been since I’ve taken a major exam?! Besides, I’m not a good test taker!

These were just some of the excuses that were preventing me from taking the CIP exam.

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Topics: cip, information professional, content management, ecm

Understanding the unique challenges of managing video content

Jun 22, 2017 11:37:16 AM by John Mancini

I have had some interesting conversations recently with a number of AIIM members about the unique challenges associated with managing video content.  Some examples:

  1. Policy bodycam video
  2. Drone video -- for example, using drones to examine conditions at refineries, power plants, and manufacturing facilities
  3. Surveillance video

You get the idea.  Video is everywhere, and we face many of the same challenges associated with managing this type of content as we have faced for years with image and document-centric content: 1) how do we secure it?  2) how to we find specific information within the overall collection? 3) how do we reliably preserve it and archive it? and 4) how do we share and utilize it for business advantage?

Of course, video has unique challenges.  The files are gigantic, creating unique storage issues and bandwidth issues. There is often a great deal of collateral and personal information captured on video, creating unique challenges re the managemnent of personal information. Finding a particular clip within a longer one is a challenge, as is automatically assigning metadata based on the content of the clip.

I've had the idea for a while of forming an adhoc virtual group to kick around some of these issues, and perhaps build some posts here to outline and share best practices. If you'd like to play, just click HERE or on the box below.

There's no hidden agenda or anything here - it's just a set of issues that I would personally like to better understand and it seems like there are a lot of AIIM peeps with these same issues. If we get a critical mass of people and info, we will perhaps at some point migrate this conversation to the AIIM Community group.


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Topics: electronic records management, content management, ecm, video

Guest Post - The Problem with Content

Jun 22, 2017 10:20:00 AM by Dan Antion

Content is data in context.”

Don’t quote me on that. I didn’t say it. I don’t know who said it. To be accurate, I should say that I don’t know who said it first. Lately, whenever I hear that statement, it’s in the form of “They say, content is data in context.”

“They.” I suppose they are the people who are good with content. My forty years of experience tell me that there aren’t many of them. I think I know why. It’s the ‘context’ thing.

A train leaves Washington, D.C. at 8:10 am, traveling to New Haven at 88 miles per hour...”

The dreaded word problem – that’s data in context.

The people who are good with content, want to tag that as: ‘travel’ ‘railroads’ ‘train’ ‘Washington’ ‘New Haven’ and probably ‘America’ and perhaps ‘Vermonter’ and ’56.’ The people who aren’t good with content, simply want to know when the train will arrive in New Haven.

They don’t like word problems.

They’ve never liked word problems and they were never good at separating the data from the relevant context – ‘relevant’ because Mr. Gadzooks, the Algebra teacher always included superfluous context to throw us off. You know, “John was boarding the train with two suitcases…” – and, let’s face it, in the real world, we just want the data and we don’t want to work for it.

The real world replaced the context of that statement with a timetable. Find your train. Look for Washington to see the departure time and then look for New Haven for the arrival time. Easy-peasy. Just like every spreadsheet in every organization. But, that was yesterday. Today, we have an app for that. Well, AMTRAK has an app, but so does the Metro North – which train are we on? Do we have that app? Is it up-to-date? Do we know how to use it?

It doesn’t matter. Apps are almost yesterday. Tomorrow, for many of us, today, we just ask Siri or Alexa or that Google girl “what time does the train get to New Haven?

But wait, that wouldn’t work.

Siri, Alexa and, what’s the Google person's name? Oh, right, she doesn’t have one. That doesn’t matter either; they can’t answer that question. They need more information. They need the date. They need to know that you’re traveling on AMTRAK and they actually need to know that your leaving from Washington, D.C. They need enough data to put you in context – to put you on the Vermonter, AMTRAK Train 56.

Sure, they might be able to use your location and determine that you’re in Washington, but they still need to know when you want to travel, because the Vermonter is one of several trains traveling between those two cities, each day. They need enough information to put you in context so they can extract the relevant data from a database.

Alexa, Siri, the Google woman, and every other information system we use won’t always need as much information from you in the future, but only if we do our jobs well.

As Information Professionals, a.k.a. content people, we need to realize the new ways the information we collect, curate and store is being used. We need to create/support easy, consistent and reliable ways to extract data from the information while continuing to meet the traditional information management requirements that have shaped our industry.

The role of information is becoming more important. The demands on information systems are becoming more critical. The expectations of relevance, accuracy and availability of information are growing. We need to make sure information can meet the challenge.

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About today's guest poster - Dan Antion is the Chairman of the AIIM Board of Directors. He has spent almost 40 years developing information management systems, in a wide variety of industries. For the past 30 years, he has been Vice President, Information Services for American Nuclear Insurers, where he is responsible for data, content, and systems development across a broad range of platforms. His opinions do not represent American Nuclear Insurers, AIIM or the AIIM Board of Directors.

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Topics: cip, data, information professional, content management, ecm

Digital Transformation Means Tackling the Next Generation of Process Problems

Jun 8, 2017 8:17:31 AM by John Mancini

Digital Transformation requires that organizations meet a new generation of process challengesHolistic customer journeys that embrace multiple sub-systems and processes, often owned by different departments, require a different way of looking at process problems.  

Looking to specific industries, consider some of the following (per Michael Croal from Cornerstone Advisors).


  • Patient Tracking: Admission to Discharge
  • Patient Billing: Service/Supply to Bill Satisfaction
  • Patient Surgery: Diagnoses to Follow-up

  • New Production: Land Acquisition to 1st Barrel
  • Refining: Raw Material to Final Product


  • Claims Adjustment: Initial Contact to Final Resolution
  • New Policy: Request for Quote to Renewal


  • New Customer/New Account: Sale to 1st Anniversary
  • Consumer Loan Delivery: Application to Lien Perfection
  • Mortgage Loan Delivery: Lead to Investor Sale
  • Commercial Loan Delivery: Expression of Interest to Annual Review
  • Collections: Past Due to Current
  • Loan Servicing: Boarding to Collateral Release

The next generation of business problems require a 360-degree view of information and access to this information – both data and content, in geometrically increasing volumes, and regardless of where it is stored. Organizations can no longer afford to look at data management and content management disciplines in isolation.

While all of the above processes are vastly different, their core characteristics say a lot about why the past bifurcation between data management and content management is becoming blurred and strained.

  • BOTH Data and content are needed to solve these problems.
  • The scale of the data and content challenge is increasing geometrically, and will increase even more rapidly with the internet of things.
  • The data and content needed to solve these problems does not reside in a single repository or system, but is scattered throughout the organization.
The data and content to solve these problems – assuming you can find it -- in many cases does not inherently contain sufficient metadata to make these information assets either understood or actionable. Traditional ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) approaches focus on bringing big data and content into a common data warehouse. These are proving to be too expensive, too complex, and too slow. Traditional relational/SQL databases are straining to meet big data demands and new semantic, NoSQL approaches are arising. And the world of content management is being transformed by concepts and disciplines from this new world of data.

Get my e-book, From Documents to Content to Data for more details.

Click to register for The AIIM Conference 2017

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What if your enterprise search was better and more encompassing? -- The power of semantics

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Topics: data, content management, documents

I want to create a file migration mess - tell me how

Jun 7, 2017 9:35:49 AM by John Mancini

Rapid technology change in the information management space is creating a fundamental tension for organizations.

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Topics: content management, ecm, efss, file migration

ECM - Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

Jun 5, 2017 12:58:02 PM by John Mancini


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Topics: information governance, content management, ecm, IIM, intelligent information management

The “Last Mile” is an Overlooked Process “Moment of Truth”

May 25, 2017 3:49:11 PM by John Mancini

A “moment of truth” is a deciding instant that determines whether something will succeed. 

According to Wikipedia, “Transporting goods via freight rail networks and container ships is often the most efficient and cost-effective manner of shipping. However, when goods arrive at a high-capacity freight station or port, they must then be transported to their final destination. This last leg of the supply chain is often less efficient, comprising up to 28% of the total cost to move goods. This has become known as the last mile problem."

Even though today’s transportation and logistics industry has globalized and adopted technology for many purposes, it still relies heavily on such paper documents as Bills of Lading, Delivery Receipts, Commercial Invoices and Claims forms to convey information. Found at various stages of the supply chain, these documents are typically printed out and then manually keyed in to another electronic system. Unfortunately, this manual data entry translates into information delays, human errors and hours of redundant labor.

Find out about the special information management challenges facing every company trying to get something from Point A to Point B in 5 Reasons to Get Serious About the “Last Mile” Problem.


And a special question - Where is the place in this picture?

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Topics: information management, content management, transportation, logistics

The Missing List -- (now 46!) Cool Content Management Publications

May 11, 2017 10:40:02 AM by John Mancini

First and Foremost, our brand spanking new E-Book on the Future of ECM -- Is it Dead or Not?


You might be interested in some recent guest posts I've done...

A Change Management Plan: Usually Easier Said than Done (Docuware)

Marketing Automation - Snake Oil, or the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread? (CMSWire)

Industry Labels Make Better Verbs than Nouns (M-Files)

Complying with the GDPR Requires Pragmatism and a Pinch of Courage (Docuware)

My Graduation Advice: A True Digital Workplace or a Computer Museum? (Docuware)

The Upside-Down World of Content Management -- AGAIN (Microsoft)

Data is the New Oil -- Especially in Oil and Gas! (M-Files)

Moving from Traditional ECM to Intelligent Information Management (M-Files)

Why You Need an Inside-Out Approach to Content Management (Box)

The Digital Workplace is Flipping Content Management on Its Head (CMSWire)

A Modern ECM Strategy Means You Must Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time (M-Files)

The Why? The How? And the What? - of Document Management (Docuware)


In case you missed some of my short-form Tip Sheets, here's a full list. Happy reading!

The Next Logistics Wave - Digital Trucking

3 Keys to Your GDPR Compliance Strategy

4 Guaranteed Ways to Create a File Migration Mess

5 Reasons to Get Serious About the "Last Mile" Problem

Misplaced Data Quality Priorities -- Document Processing Accuracy vs. System Performance

4 Reasons Why the SaaS Revolution Needs a Unified Content Strategy

Logistics Means More Than Moving Physical Stuff Around

What if Your Search Was Better and More Encompassing?

6 Key Transportation and Logistics Challenges Facing All Companies

Automation – What Are You Waiting For?

4 Things You Need to Know About the Real World of Multiple ECM Repositories

Disruptive BPM for Disruptive Times – 5 Key Requirements

4 Ways ECM Turned Out Differently Than We Planned

5 Key Challenges in Improving Supplier Relationships

5 Reasons Improving Data Quality Should Be a Key Priority

4 Workplace Changes That Should Drive Your Collaboration Strategy

5 Hidden Security Vulnerabilities in Your Antiquated Capture System

6 Reasons You Need to Focus on the “C” in CRM

5 Reasons Building Information Modelling (BIM) is Important

3 Strategic Choices Facing HR Professionals

4 Workplace Changes That Should Drive Your Collaboration Strategy

7 Key Changes in Content Management

6 Tips on Asset Lifecycle Information Management

4 Things You Need to Know to Build a Sound EFSS Strategy

3 Questions to Ask About Content Creation

3 Reasons Why Document Processing Should Matter to the C-Suite

4 Steps to Leverage What You Already Have and Know to Improve Customer Experiences

4 Tips to Prepare for the European GDPR

5 Faces of Information Chaos

6 Things You Need to Know About Emerging Markets and Information Management

7 Tips to Create MORE Information Chaos

8 Key Benefits of an Enterprise File Sync and Share Solution

What Does High Value Content Look Like?


And my keynote from AIIM17...


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Topics: information management, content management, ecm, tip sheet

Connecting the Dots Between Documents, Content, and Data

Mar 1, 2017 10:49:00 AM by John Mancini

Since the 1980s, relational databases have been used to store business information. They were a huge step forward over hierarchical databases, which organized data into rigid tree-like structures with connections between data elements defined by the links in the structures.

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Topics: data, content management, documents

Sharing Success -- SharePoint and Lessons in Risk Management

Feb 6, 2017 10:47:00 AM by Dan Antion

[This is a guest post by AIIM Chair Dan Antion, a well-known commenter on content management  issues and trends.  In real life, Dan is Vice President of Information Services at American Nuclear Insurers.]

My title serves a dual purpose. First, I will be sharing a couple success stories at the upcoming AIIM Conference. Second, and more important, the solutions I will be talking about are an example of the kind of success-sharing we should all be considering.

I don’t want to spoil my presentation, but the message I will be delivering is that it’s time to stop thinking about storing information and to start thinking about putting that stored information to work.

For the past many years, I’ve been focused on creating better, easier and more reliable ways of gathering information. I learned early on that we had to give some incentives to people, if we wanted them to cooperate with out information gathering efforts. If we could improve a process that was still somewhat manual, for example, we could encourage people to put stuff in SharePoint. If we could move some of that content to SharePoint Online, making access easier and more dependable, we might further encourage people to use the platform. Still, the bulk of our energy was being spent on collecting, identifying and processing information on its way into permanent storage.

But, why were we storing it?

Of course, we all know the answer(s). Perhaps it was compliance. Perhaps it was to reduce potentially staggering eDiscovery costs many years down the road. Perhaps, as designed, it was to improve the process of creating, reviewing and delivering those documents. And, perhaps, those documents, combined with the data we’ve been collecting in our various relational databases, could help someone do their job.

Insurance companies have lots of data, but it’s typically organized to complete a task. We need to know enough about a facility to calculate a premium. We need to know enough about the people who own the facility to send them an invoice for that premium. We need to remember that they had insurance in case there is a claim in the future. All the standard stuff that insurance companies keep.

We also inspect these facilities. Our engineers plan, conduct and write lengthy reports about those inspections. Those reports tell a story about risk management and the risk we insure. Because we were good little information professionals, those reports are stored along with enough metadata to connect them to those customers, those premium and those claims – should they occur.

Now, we’ve realized that by combining that data and those documents, we can give our employees a much more complete picture of risk management and the risk we insure. We can tailor that story to match the needs of the person reading it. We can aggregate the composite information for an upper management type and we can drill down into the details for that engineer on the road to one of those inspections.

I’ve spent 40 years, keeping data in a set of high-tech silos, and I’ve spent over 15 years, gathering documents into a different set of silos. Come see my presentation at The AIIM Conference 2017 to hear a little more about my epiphany – the stuff in those silos need to be combined.

Click to register for The AIIM Conference 2017


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Topics: RISK, risk management, content management, ecm, sharepoint, AIIM17

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AIIM provides market research, expert advice, and skills development to an empowered community of leaders committed to information-driven innovation.

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