The Value of Information Architecture

Here at Cordapse, we cannot stress enough on the importance of Information Architecture. It is the backbone on which your data, information and knowledge are built. 

If you cannot describe your information, how can you hope to classify it, find it, manage it and report on it? 

Instead of thinking of an Information Architecture as how your company intranet is organised, you should be thinking about how you want to discover, view and report on your information. 

The best approach to this is to have a central taxonomy of terms that can be used to describe your content. 

Firstly, building a taxonomy does not have to be difficult. It is an organic process which changes as your business changes over time. 

For instance, a simple approach may be to look at the most popular documents you use.  

Secondly, and most importantly, adding an Information Architecture to your documents will add instant value. For example, quickly finding and reporting upon your documents.

Information Architecture Example

For example, you could have terms that describe a document type, let’s say a Purchase Order. 

For the Purchase Order you may want ‘Value’, ‘Customer’, ‘Sales Agent’ as terms you want to report upon.

So let’s look at what these three simple terms could give us: 

Discovery – we can easily find a Purchase Order for a client called ‘Acme’. We can extend that to other terms we are using – Sales Agent and Value. We can discover information quickly and easily

Information architecture example 1

Reporting. We can create views of our invoices that provide reporting based upon the terms we have used – report on the number of invoices per customer. We can report on our documents without opening them 

Information architecture example 2

Navigation. We can use the terms to navigate our information. Traditionally this is done by folders which tend to hide information rather than show it. We do not need to know the navigation structure in order to find what we need 

information architecture example 3

We hope that this simple example gives you a little more insight into the value of an Information Architecture.

The possibilities are almost endless.

In the meantime, if you would like to know a little more please do get in contact with us – info@cordapse.com

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