Six out of 10 enterprises expect content analytics to become pivotal business tools in the next five years, according to a new report from AIIM (the Association for Information and Image Management).

Enterprise can use content analytics to solve legacy problems as well as increase the value of inbound content, the report states. In fact, many enterprises are already using analytics to add metadata to old content, giving that content a new lease of life by making it measurable and actionable.

Those are some of the findings in an Industry Watch on Content Analytics (registration required). The report is based on a survey of 238 AIIM members between April and May:  31 percent of respondents represent organizations with more than 5,000 employees, another 31 percent represent businesses of 500 to 5,000 employees and 38 percent represent organizations with 10 to 500 employees.

Everyone is Jumping In

The study shows that even smaller organizations are jumping on the analytics bandwagon.

Analytics have evolved to the point that enterprises can quickly and accurately derive insight from both inbound and legacy content. By matching content with analytics, rules and polices, the applications can detect unusual behavior, spot trends and even offer insight about emotions and sentiments.

Report author Doug Miles calls content analytics is a key part of “big data” business intelligence. But he notes that it is also driving auto-classification, content remediation, security correction, adaptive case management and operations monitoring.

Simply stated, enterprises can use content analytics to consistently classify content for use or deletion.

content analytics drivers

“Everybody hates filing, but the computers nowadays are more accurate and way more consistent about finding and filing content,” Miles said, adding "even if your content has been misplaced."

Given the dual challenges of massive amounts of legacy content and increasing volumes of new inbound content, it is clear why content analytics could become one of the most valuable tools in the enterprise moving forward.

Content Analytics Spending

Most respondents expect to spend more on content analytics in the next 12 months, including auto-classification. There is also likely to be growth in enhanced and contextual search, analytics for business insight, and automated classification tools or modules.

The spend is across all applications that may give enterprises better insight into their content.

content analytics spend

Asked whether these figures were aspirational or practical estimates of short-term investments, Miles said he believed the latter, noting, “We get a sense that it’s really a genuine sentiment."

“The question is ‘how important is this for your organization?’ and a lot of content managers are saying that that they will never get a handle on the content if the organization doesn’t provide and automatic way of doing it,“ he said.

content uses

Nearly two-thirds of respondents rated content analytics as either essential (17 percent) or something they definitely need (48 percent).

Other key findings:

  • 34 percent of organizations are using content analytics for process automation, information governance, contextual search or business insight.
  • Benefits from inbound analytics include faster flowing processes (50 percent), happier staff (32 percent) and improved governance (20 percent).
  • 68 percent of early content analytics adopters report ROI within 18 months or less

Content analytics is a response to the fact that enterprises have been struggling to manage content for years and from the user end of the application, Miles said. It offers a way of dealing with historic content, as well as dealing with it at the point where content is created or stored.

“If you give them automatic metadata instead of expecting them to file it in the correct place the application will either file it for them or it may prompt the user to describe the file and indicate where it should be,” he added.