According to the International Data Corporation, employees spend 9.5 hours a week searching for data and an additional 9.6 hours are devoted to analyzing that data; combined, that’s $28,653.80 per employee per year (assuming a $60,000 salary). Corporate libraries can assist employees in finding that information, which helps reduce the amount of time those employees spend searching for data.
Increasing the Value of Documents
Corporate libraries can increase the value of their documents by increasing the documents discoverability and usefulness; Seth Maislin of Earley & Associates posted an article about how companies can increase the value of their documents (therein increasing their discoverability). He suggested implementing the following methods in a company’s information strategy to improve the value of documents:
1. Findability: Users need to be able to find your documents; according to IDC, 40% of corporate users can’t find the information that they need. Maislin suggests to improve your findability with a “user-focused information strategy”.
2. Speed: Having your data appear in the list of 150 results isn’t time effective; users will still waste time searching through potentially irrelevant information before finding the relevant results. Including search refiners can increase the discoverability of your documents, as well as including a multifaceted search.
3. Timeliness: This is the combination of having the right information at the right time; it includes providing information to patrons before they know they need it.
4. Accessibility: Users need to be able to access your documents: they need to be able to print, email, view and tweet the information you have.
5. Personalization: Personalization is the intersection of timeliness and accessibility; documents need to be available to the users at the right place, at the right time and in the right manner. The first half of this step revolves around knowing your users and the second has to deal with how you structure your content.
6. Interpretation: This part looks at the document and how it is relevant to the business, not just the individual who is searching for it.
These six steps help increase the value of documents; if users can’t find the documents, they have no worth. The worth of a document naturally declines with age; however, if the items are well organized, their value can increase and remain relevant.
Smart Prefix™ search
Boopsie’s Smart Prefix™ search will help increase the discoverability of your documents. Library App users simply begin typing the first few letters of a word and the results instantly narrow down, similar to Google’s “Search Suggest” feature. Smart Prefix search allows users to search multiple “search fields” (e.g. title, author, subject, etc) without having to actually select the specific option.
In an October study, we were able to find that users of the Library Apps that had implemented our Smart Prefix™ search performed 2.4 times more searches per month than in libraries without Smart Prefix search implemented. Users are more likely to perform more searches when it is easier to find what they want.
Native Mobile Apps
Another method of increasing the discoverability of your documents is to use Native Mobile Apps—applications that have been specifically designed to run on a particular platform (e.g. iOS (Apple), Android, Windows, etc.) Although it might not be quite as intuitive, having a Native Mobile App increases the usage of your app, which will in turn increase the discoverability of your documents (in this case, through Smart Prefix™ search). Also Native Apps are easily adaptable since they are intuitive to use; if you can use a smartphone, you can use a Native Mobile App.
Corporate Libraries’ Mobile Strategy
A prime concern for mobile app builders is the discoverability of their product. Just because an app is being sold in the respective app markets, it does not mean that people will download it; you have to increase the app’s discoverability.You can easily adapt Maislin’s suggestions on how to increase the value of documents to relate to Your Mobile App’s discoverability into your Corporate Libraries’ Mobile Strategy:
1. Findability: You can increase the findability of your app through app promotion, including website promotion, social media and in-library promotion.
2. Speed: This really comes to play inside your app. With Smart Prefix™ search implemented, you can increase the speed of users accessing your documents.
3. Timeliness & Accessibility: Having a Native Mobile App can improve both the timeliness and accessibility of your documents. Native Mobile Apps are easy to use and app usage accounts for 80% of the time smartphone and tablet users are on their devices.
4. Personalization: Personalization is inherent in a Native Mobile App; a mobile app delivers content to the right people at the right time.