Read the latest insights and tips on digital organization, workflows, productivity, and ways to unleash your potential.
Data Silos: Why They Are Problematic and How to Fix Them
Information silos are collections of information held by a specific group that may not be accessible by other groups or individuals in the same team. Siloed data often occurs from one “segment” of a business to the next, as HR, administration, finance, and marketing teams all collect and use various pieces of data to complete their day-to-day tasks. While siloed data might not seem problematic at first, isolated data frequently leads to barriers in information sharing and collaboration in the wider business landscape. Consistent data silos damage data integrity and make it harder for your business to succeed. ✶ Share information among teams effortlessly with Unleash Defining Data Integrity: What Is Healthy Data? Information silos refer to segments of data inaccessible from one department to the next in an organization, leading to a lack of efficiency and transparency in a team. Siloed data is the opposite of “healthy” data. Companies can define healthy data as information that is accessible and easily understood across the business landscape. How Do Data Silos Occur? Information silos and siloed data issues can occur for a range of reasons. Usually, these problems emerge over time, mirroring fragmented organizational structures. Some of the most common causes of data silos include: Issues with technology Data can’t easily pass between departments in an organization if the technology used for collecting and storing data is fragmented. Integrations between high-quality applications and software solutions are essential to healthy data. Organizational change Growth or changes in the structure of an organization can often lead to problems with the management of data. There may be too many departments or team members for business leaders to keep track of the flow of data effectively. Issues with company culture Poor company culture can lead to gaps between different members of staff in a team. Sometimes, this can cause groups like marketing or sales to keep data to themselves, rather than sharing their insights with the rest of the group. ✶ Software solutions like Unleash make integrations between apps easy How Is Data Quality Affected by Data Silos? One of the major issues caused by data silos is a problem with data quality. Data is among the most valuable assets any business has, making it easier for teams to make informed and confident decisions. With data, you can understand your partners and customers and improve your chances of long-term business success. Working with data silos means you’ll have fragmented pieces of information which might not provide a complete view of your business environment. If your data isn’t in sync, you may even see conflicting insights when cross-checking information from various sources. Can Data Silos Destroy Businesses? If you’re new to dealing with data, you might wonder, “why are data silos problematic?” As mentioned above, a lack of access to consistent and accurate data is one of the most common issues associated with siloed information. However, other problems can also emerge, such as: Incomplete views of the business If you can’t consolidate your data into a comprehensive overview of all business operations, then you can’t gain a complete view of the business. Trying to manage a business with isolated data is like trying to put a puzzle back together without knowing what it should look like. Cultural issues When data silos are evident in business, teams often end up working independently, using their own data and failing to collaborate with their colleagues. This can lead to everyone in a business working with different strategies and a misaligned approach to business operations. Cultures of transparency and trust are difficult to maintain with data silos. Poor business performance Data silos make it difficult to track customer journeys and maintain a strong view of your company’s operations. This means you don’t have the insights required to optimize your company or your teams. It could also mean you end up giving your customers a less-than-perfect experience. How Can You Fix the Problem of Data Silos? Information silos often happen when companies have various sources of information isolated from one another. This means many business leaders often assume the answer to data silos is simply importing and exporting databases from one environment to another. However, the reality is that the constantly changing nature of data requires a more focused central approach to eliminating data silos. In order to do this, companies should do the following: Use integration software Using integration software and APIs to connect disparate systems in a workforce is one of the best ways to reduce data silos. Software solutions such as Unleash sync all your resources into one place, making searching for information easy. Leverage all-in-one environments Leveraging all-in-one cloud environments where you can connect multiple tools in one space can reduce the need for integrations. This also minimizes the risk of data silos by keeping information flowing in one space. Create a collaborative culture Commit to helping your team members bond and collaborate more consistently so that they’re constantly sharing information and insights. A culture with a strong focus on knowledge sharing will reduce data silos. How to Avoid Data Silos in the Future As businesses continue to become increasingly reliant on data in a digital world, healthy data is essential to improving a company’s chances of long-term success. Organizations must provide decision makers with 360-degree views of healthy data to achieve their goals. Eliminating data silos may be the key to success for many businesses.
Project managementUsing Notion for Project Management: Pros, Cons, & MoreWhat is Notion? Released in 2016, Notion is an all-in-one workspace that allows users to organize their thoughts, create plans, and streamline projects. While it's popular as an efficient note-taking tool that facilitates easy knowledge management, Notion is also a powerful project management application. The solution is a freemium productivity and note-taking web application housing tools for knowledge management, task management, project tracking, to-do lists, bookmarking, and more. In other words, the same Notion for knowledge management doubles as a project management Notion as well. So, is Notion good for project management? Yes! Is Notion good for task management? Yes! Can Notion be used for both? Absolutely! Let’s take a look at how we can broaden the scope of Notion from being a knowledge management facilitator to using it as a powerful project management enabler. How to Use Notion for Project Management Notion offers several project management tools. You can easily collaborate with your team from any device and work together on projects synced in real-time. That said, does Notion work offline? Yes, in a way. While Notion does not have an offline mode, if you leave it (say, Notion Pages) open in your browser when you lose the internet connection, you can continue working on it, and the same would be synced when the connection is back on. With Notion, you can: Create roadmapsWrite to-do and task listsBuild Kanban boardsCreate a databaseCreate and store documentsBuild project plans What's impressive about Notion is that it offers these functionalities as a part of a single solution, in contrast to Google Workspace, which is a collection of several apps. You can use Notion's tools wherever you are on the app and access them through page menus. ✶ Is your Notion not syncing across devices? See the ways to fix it Project Management Tools in Notion Below is an overview of Notion's project management features and how to put them to use to make the most out of Notion for improving employee productivity. Wikis Wikis are collaborative document repositories that all project collaborators can access. It's where you can store project briefs, contracts, policies, and content, among other things. Wikis are a crucial piece of Notion content management. Here is how to go about using Wikis in Notion: Create a workspace page for your project by clicking the (+) icon in your sidebar next to WORKSPACEUse the slash (/) key to access different content options and create subpages within your workspacePopulate your workspace with relevant information related to your project, such as project briefs, contracts, policies, and contentUse columns to group related pages and make it easier to navigate your workspaceInclude information on mechanics, prizes, participants, and other useful data in subpagesCollaborate with others by giving them access to your wiki and encouraging them to contribute Project Pages In Notion, a page is essentially a document that's customizable, so you can add whatever you like—text, images, checklists, tasks, or even a Kanban board. To create a new page, just click “+ New Page” on the bottom left of your sidebar menu. From there, you can select a page type you want, be it an empty table, list, board, or calendar. ✶ Knowledge management vs. content management: the key differences Kanban Board Notion Kanban boards are an effective project management tool that can show you what tasks your team has, what tasks have been assigned to a team member, and their current status. When a team member is done with a task, they can easily drag the card from the to-do column to the completed column. This way, Notion task management is just as good as other task management solutions in the market. Roadmaps Roadmaps in Notion are great for visualizing a project plan and allowing everyone to see what steps, resources, and people are involved. Notion lets you build roadmaps and sync them with the projects or tasks you have in your databases. Moreover, you can easily create a roadmap using built-in templates as well. To start building your roadmap in Notion, create a new database (for the Roadmap) and populate it with all the necessary properties you need, such as projects, deadlines, tasks, and more. If you need to add multiple tasks, create a template to save time. Once done, you can share your roadmap with the rest of the team by providing them with workspace access. Customize Views Notion allows you the flexibility of viewing your to-dos in either a traditional to-do list format or a visual timeline. Additionally, you can view it as a table for a more structured approach, as a gallery for a visual overview, or as a calendar for easy scheduling and planning. ✶ Want to use Notion for content management? See the pros and cons Pros of Using Notion for Project Management There are multiple benefits to using Notion for project management, including the following: Cost efficient – Notion is an all-in-one workspace that eliminates the need for companies to acquire and use separate CRM, onboarding, and project management tools.User-friendly – Once you master Notion's many features, producing pages and content should be easier than on other platforms.Time-saving – Notion has many time-saving features that make it simple to create content, take notes, organize projects, automate workflows, or assign tasks. As users don't need to switch between apps, they can quickly update content from their workspace. Additionally, the many templates available and Notion shortcuts make it easy to get started right away. All these amount to great Notion productivity.Portable – Notion is compatible with many devices. Its various features are accessible to users through its web, desktops, or mobile app. ✶ Notion search sucks: see why and how to improve it Cons of Using Notion for Project Management Despite its multiple advantages, there are also some disadvantages of Notion when using the solution for project management. Overwhelming – Notion's approach to organizing content is based on using blocks for every element, which can initially feel overwhelming for new users. To take advantage of Notion's extensive range of features and templates, users will need to invest some time in learning how to use the interface effectively. Once they become familiar with the platform, they will be able to leverage its full potential. This is particularly true when it comes to Notion search. No goal tracking – Large projects are often broken down into phases or important milestones so that project managers can keep track of what's been accomplished and what's pending. However, there's no way to set benchmarks or monitor your progress toward targets, as all you have to work with are checklists.No reporting tool – Without a built-in reporting tool, you’ll need a third-party reporting app to track your team's performance.Lack of communication features – While everyone can edit and comment on the same pages, there isn't really a way to talk to other team members on the platform. Despite these Notion disadvantages, the solution continues to be highly sought-after. Supercharge Project Management With Unleash Notion is an excellent tool for improving collaboration, task management, document management, and project tracking. It is an exceptional content and project management tool for individuals and organizations. However, it may not be the most suitable option for large enterprises with complex project management needs. To optimize project management in such cases, a robust search tool like Unleash can be beneficial. After all, in today’s day and age of burgeoning data, search is more important than ever.
Project managementHow to Search Issues in Jira With Jira Query Language (JQL)Jira has become a familiar name in enterprises spanning varied industries- due to its powerful streamlining of project and workflow management. While the easy-to-integrate solution is adept at giving the bird’s eye and nuanced views into the progressions of projects, “zooming in all the way,” so to speak, and pinpointing on a “unit of work” (“issue” in Jira’s terms) can become increasingly difficult for big projects. After all, issues spiral as a project grows in scope. This is where JQL (Jira Query Language) comes in as a powerful search and filtering language that allows Jira users to find the issues. Users can build complex JQL queries to search for issues by type, status, assignee, priority, and other attributes. In addition, Structure-specific JQL (S-JQL) can be used to query issues based on their locations within the structure hierarchy, making it a valuable tool for organizing and visualizing issues in a flexible and hierarchical way. However, with many complicated search methods and syntaxes, operators, functions, and the like, the Jira JQL combo can be intimidating for non-technical users, which is why solutions like Unleash exist—to provide a unified Jira experience with the prowess of a single search engine. ✶ Find out how to troubleshoot GitHub search Easy-to-use interface Tailor-made app versions Powerful universal search Basic & Advanced Search in Jira Jira offers two main ways to search and act on issues—basic and advanced (using JQL). Basic allows search for issues based on basic criteria, such as keywords, issue types, status, and assignee. However, its limitations include lesser search criteria, sorting options, and search modifiers. Jira Advanced Search, to this end, allows users to create more complex and detailed search queries using JQL. In addition to enabling the reigning of search results, Advance Search enables users to search across multiple projects, create custom Jira filters, share them with other users, and more. Some Jira advanced search examples include issues: Updated by a specific user in a certain time periodWith a specific issue type and priorityContaining specific words in issue summary/ description ✶ Learn how to move issues between Jira projects with ease Essential JQL Syntax Here are some JQL query examples that will set a good foundation. Field The attribute of an issue that users want to search for. Examples of Jira JQL select fields are: "project," "issue type," "priority," "summary," "description," "assignee," "reporter," and "status." Operator This is the symbol or keyword you use to compare or combine values of fields. The most commonly used operators in JQL are "=" (equals), "!=" (JQL query does not equal), "<" (less than), ">" (greater than), "<=" (less than or equal to), ">=" (greater than or equal to), "IN," "NOT IN," "IS," "IS NOT," "WAS," "WAS NOT," and "CHANGED." Value There are specific values that users want to search for, such as a project name, JQL issue type, priority level, user name, status, date, text string, etc. Logical operator: This combines multiple JQL clauses to create more complex search queries. The most commonly used logical operators in JQL are "AND," "OR," and "NOT." Parentheses: Used to group clauses together in a search query and define the order of operations. Keywords: Words or phrases that can be used to search for issues based on specific criteria. Some examples of commonly used JQL keywords include: ProjectTo search for issues in a specific projectIssuetypeTo search for issues of a specific issue type, such as "Bug," "Task," or "Story"AssigneeTo search for issues assigned to a specific userStatusTo search for issues with a specific status, such as "Open," "In Progress," or "Resolved"PriorityTo search for issues with priority levels, such as "High," "Medium," or "Low"SummaryTo search for issues with a specific summaryDescriptionTo search for issues with specific words or phrases in the description An Example Here's one of the most useful JQL examples for Jira queries. This is the syntax of the following JQL query for an advanced search in Jira. Project = "My Project" AND (issuetype = Bug OR issuetype = Story) AND priority = High ORDER BY created DESC This query will search for all issues in the "My Project" project that are either Bugs or Stories and have a priority level of "High." The results will be sorted by the date they were created, with the most recently created issues appearing first. This Jira search query uses the following elements of JQL syntax: "Project," and "issuetype" are keywords used to search for issues based on project and issue type, respectivelyThe "=" operator is used to specify the value of a field. In this case, we are searching for issues in the project "My Project"The "AND" and "OR" logical operators are used to combine multiple search criteriaParentheses are used to group multiple search criteria and control the order of operations"Priority" is a keyword used to search for issues based on their priority level"ORDER BY" is used to specify the order in which the search results should be sorted."Created" is a keyword used to sort the results by the date they were created"DESC" is used to specify that the results should be sorted in descending order ✶ Find out how Unleash can take the frustration out of Jira search. How to Search for Issues in Jira with JQL Here are the steps for searching for issues in Jira with JQL. 1. Log in to the Jira account and navigate to the "Issues" section. 2. Click on the "Advanced" button next to the search bar at the top of the screen to open the advanced search dialog. NOTE: If “Basic Search” is displayed instead of “Advanced Search,” click “Advanced” next to the icon. If enabled, “Switch to basic” should appear next to Search. 3. In the "JQL" field, enter the Jira JQL search query using the JQL syntax. 4. Press the "Enter" key or click the "Search" button to execute the query. 5. Review the search results to ensure they match the criteria specified. Unlike getting an advanced Jira search query right for effective task management, inputting them for searching issues is pretty straightforward. ✶ Want to make the most out of task management? Learn how to create filters Jira Simplifying Jira Search with Unleashed Jira search can be overwhelming for those yet to be acquainted with the magnificence of the solution. The number of search options can make it frustrating, going by the paradox of choice. Solutions like Unleashed enable enterprise teams to go the (long) extra mile in drawing competitive productivity out of productivity suites like Jira.
Project managementJira Filter Use Made Easy: How to Create, Edit, and ShareJira filters allow users to customize the output of their search results by applying specific conditions to search queries. With filters, users can narrow down their search results to show, say, the issues assigned to a particular Jira filter assignee, those in a specific status, or those tagged with a particular keyword. Filters in Jira allow users to better manage their tasks by making Jira search commands less overwhelming. Read on to learn all you need to know about filters in Jira. When to Use a Filter in Jira A filter in Jira is also a way to look up the flow of work items in a project. With filters, users can control which work items are displayed based on specific criteria, such as the type of work item, its status, the label (via Jira label filter), or the assignee. This functionality gives users more control over their project management, making it easier to focus on relevant issues and streamline workflows. With filters, users can also create custom views that display only a subset of work items that meet specific criteria. Interested in intranet search? If so, see our intranet use cases or how to improve intranet search here. Additionally, here are our tips on how you can supercharge your intranet search. ✶ Simplify your task management by learning how to move issues between Jira projects How to Create a Filter in Jira There are several useful Jira filters that can help you locate and manage projects, issues, and boards. As there are far too many Jira filter examples to mention, for this tutorial, we’ve picked a couple of filter types with regard to creating a filter in Java and showing how to use filters in Jira. Here’s how to create Jira filters: Navigate to “Filters” > “View all filters” from your Jira account dashboard menu.Once the filters page loads, click the “Create filter” button from the top left-hand corner.From the top of the search page, set the assignee to “Current User.”Select “More” > “Resolution” and check “Unresolved.”The search results modified via these filters will return unresolved issues that have been assigned to the current user. The method for how to add quick filters in Jira is simple and easy. Jira offers a vast selection of filters. To access them all, simply click on the scroll bar and wait for the list to drop down. From there, you can select the filter that best matches your search query and execute it with ease. ✶ Searching through files slowing you down? To save time, learn how to find files faster with better box search How to Edit a Filter in Jira You may use certain Jira filters in your regular workflow. To that end, you can save filters for later use. To save a filter, simply: Define and run your search.Click the “Save as” link above the search results.This will display the “Save Filter” panel.Assign a filter name and click “Submit” to save the changes. Once saved, they are stored on a user’s “favorite filters” list. Jira saved filters can be edited, too. Here’s how to edit Jira filters: Head to the Issues menu and select "Filters". Click the name of the filter you want to edit.To add or remove criteria, simply click the "+" or "—" buttons next to each field. You can also change the order of the fields by clicking and dragging them up or down. ✶ Learn how to search for issues using Jira Query Language. How to Share a Filter in Jira Akin to moving issues within projects, Jira allows you to share any filters you've created with other users through groups, projects, or project roles. This can help ensure that everyone on your team has access to the same set of filters, making collaboration and project management more streamlined. Additionally, if you have administrator privileges, you can use the "Shared Filters" feature to make any saved filter available to all Jira users across your organization. In fact, the “create shared filter” global permission in Jira settings is also how to make a filter public in Jira. Here is how you can share filters in Jira: Choose “Issues” > “Manage filters”From here, click the “My” tabSelect the filter you want to shareClick the “Details” linkClick “Edit permissions” to open the “Edit Current Filter” displayClick on the “Add Shares” dropdown menu and select either “Everyone”, “Group”, or “Project”Click the “+Add” button next to the dropdown menu and select who you want to share permissions withClick “Save” to finalize. Because Jira search can be quite frustrating, another great way to save valuable time and money is to make use of enterprise search. Best Practices for Using Filters in Jira Filters are important in Jira as they allow users to better zero-in on issues and tasks. By using Jira search filters effectively, users can improve their productivity and reduce the amount of time they spend on aimless searches. Here are some best practices to get the most out of Jira filters. Use Jira custom filters to better organize your work One of the best ways to streamline your workflow is to create a custom filter for each project you're working on. By doing so, you'll be able to easily access and track the issues and tasks specific to that project without getting distracted by unrelated items. Look up custom Jira filter examples online. Use keywords in your filters When creating filters in Jira, it's important to use relevant keywords that will help you quickly locate the ones you need. With clear and specific naming, you can ensure that your filters accurately capture the information you're looking for, making it easier to find and address the issues that matter most. Don’t overuse filters Filters can help you quickly find and track issues. For instance, you can find all issues assigned to a user. Make sure to use filters wisely. Too many filters can lead to information overload and make it difficult to find the issue you're looking for. Use Jira Quick Filters Jira Quick Filters provide a means to filter the displayed issues on a Scrum or Kanban board in a more precise manner. They can be used to display a specific type of issue, such as bugs only, or to present a customized backlog view tailored to the team's requirements. Create quick filters in Jira to amp up your Jira search. It would also be handy to learn how to edit quick filters in Jira. Nest filters in Jira Jira allows you to use filter in filter. The idea is to create a filter that invokes another. At the end of the day, filters are about better search enablement. On that note, read our post on how a powerful intranet search improves employee productivity. Augment Jira Search with Filters and a Powerful Search Tool Jira filters are a powerful tool that can help you efficiently manage your searches and your Jira workflows. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily create, edit, and share filters to streamline your workflow and improve productivity. If you want to take your enterprise search capabilities to the next level, consider exploring solutions like Unleash to improve your overall Jira search experience.
Project managementNotion Software for Content Management: Advantages and Disadvantages Notion is a fantastic online content management solution. It can be used to edit text, maintain a blog, store ideas, organize content, and compose articles all in one place. This makes it useful for anybody with content management needs, from solo entrepreneurs to well-established companies. Here, we'll explore Notion's advantages and disadvantages for content management. ✶ Using Notion to improve workflow: see 5 essential automations to set up Notion for Content Management Content management requires keeping track of a piece of content as it goes through its many iterations from inception to completion. Enterprises and small businesses with a lot of content to handle may find content management a daunting task. However, Notion facilitates streamlined workflow procedures and improved collaboration as content moves through its lifecycle. Here are a few of Notion’s features that support this: Project and Task Management Notion can work as an all-in-one project management tool where teams assign, track and update multiple projects and recurring tasks all in one place. Moreover, Notion project management makes it convenient to improve document management and organize file attachments, task lists, and schedules so that they're easily searchable. Notion also contains features that help with task management. To stay on track with the rest of the team, members can view any project note along with related task assignments and the most recent updates, initiate conversations, write comments, and tag other users to get or give feedback. You can also improve the rate at which tasks are completed by using Notion shortcuts. Note-Tracking and Document Management Notion uses a Kanban board to provide an overview of the many stages of each deliverable. Content can be organized into the following main categories: To Do, In Progress, Edit, Published, and Archive. Users can further break down each deliverable into various stages by clicking on its card. It also allows users to invite other members to collaborate or assign and track specific tasks and set deadlines. Additionally, users can quickly toggle between their own projects and team-wide assignments with filters and custom keywords. Research, Writing, and Editing Notion makes writing and editing easy, as the platform feels very intuitive and minimizes any frustration regarding proper formatting, indentation, image position, and lists. There are also available blogging and writing templates that help keep all writing consistent. What's more, ideas, the fuel for each piece of content, can be safely stored on the platform. If a user has a great idea, they can quickly store it in Notion to come back to it later and build upon it. ✶ Notion search sucks: see why that is and how to improve it Advantages Notion’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive content management features make it an ideal option for writers and other content creators. Here are some of Notion’s key strengths: Easy to use: Users can jump immediately into their tasks after getting used to the platform. In case you need any help, you can count on many available tutorials and responsive technical support.Multifunctional: The fact that it's a multifunctional app with features beyond note-taking is a major selling point. As a result, users won't waste time keeping several tabs open or switching between programs to produce and manage content.Clutter-free interface: Users can easily organize tasks, projects, and workflows thanks to Notion’s clean and intuitive interface. This also minimizes distractions and helps keep the user focused on their deliverables.Cross-compatible: Notion is compatible with several devices. As long as a user has one device connected to Notion, be it a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, they can access their work or share content from anywhere. You can get Notion in a web app, a Mac or Windows desktop app, or an iOS or Android mobile app. ✶ Having problems with syncing Notion across devices? Here's how to fix it Disadvantages Although Notion is a wonderful note-taking and content-management tool, it's not without its faults. Some of these include: Minor learning curve: For users with no experience in using Notion or similar tools, getting accustomed to its interface and navigation might take some time, as finding pages and dashboards can be confusing to first-time users.Setup can take time: While Notion's workflow and content management benefits are worth the effort, setting it up properly for team use might take some time. In comparison, this can be easily provided by other dedicated project management tools.Text formatting issues: There are a few common formatting bugs that irk users. For example, the app may respond inconsistently when users try to edit or highlight text or add sections to a page. Streamline Your Content Management With Notion As a comprehensive content management tool, Notion makes it easy to find and manage your content, collaborate with others on teams, and organize and share ideas. Even though there are a few drawbacks to consider, the overall advantages make it a fantastic choice for many users, as it's intuitive, simple to use, and works well across multiple devices. As such, it may be the perfect solution for your content management needs in 2023.
Project managementHow to Reduce Data Integrity RisksEvery year, companies set their annual budget, making crucial decisions for the company's foreseeable future. If these decisions are made using unreliable data, it could have a negative impact on the company's bottom line. This is why data integrity is important. In this article, we'll take a look into what data integrity is and how to reduce data integrity risks. * Are you having data integrity issues? See what's causing them What Is Data Integrity? Data integrity describes the accuracy and validity of your company's data over its lifetime. In other words, it's the quality of your data, or how trustworthy your data is. If your data isn't accurate, it could cause a lot of damage, especially when your executives are using it to make important business decisions. The Importance of Data Integrity There are many good reasons why you should aim to keep your data integrity risks to a minimum, including the following: Protecting the company's data security: Low data integrity can be dangerous for your company, as data leaks can tarnish your company's reputation. If your data integrity is low, you may not conform to the necessary regulations, which can reduce your company's performance and competitiveness and cost you in the long run.Building trust: High data integrity builds trust between colleagues, executives, service providers, suppliers, and customers. It keeps this invaluable resource safe, securing the company's future.Promoting business transparency: High data integrity will ensure your data stays private and confidential, promoting business transparency and helping your business in the long term. 12 Ways to Reduce Your Data Integrity Risks Now that we understand what data integrity is and why it's so important, let's look at some techniques, methods, and strategies you can explore to optimize your company's data integrity. You may want to combine some of these to further heighten the reliability and accuracy of your data and maintain data security. 1. Educate Your Employees Arrange internal training courses so that your employees understand exactly what's meant by the term "data integrity" and explain their part in minimizing the risks. As technology develops and trends change, you should also offer refresher courses. 2. Have More Than One Storage Location Having multiple storage locations will help you see if any changes have been made to your data, and you can easily navigate these locations through data federation. A comparison of different data sets will tell you exactly where the data losses or changes have occurred, helping you restore your data integrity as soon as possible. Examples of two storage locations that work together are a backup system and an archive, whereby the backup system is a current copy of your data that you can use for recovery in case of a disaster or accidental deletion. Another example is your primary storage system and secondary storage system—the former represents the one you use every day, while the latter is used for backup and recovery. 3. Validate Input & Data Whether your data has been supplied by a known or unknown source, you'll need to implement validation and verification on input to secure data accuracy and ensure your data processes haven't been corrupted. One way to verify your data is through a data type check, which confirms the data is entered in the correct format. For example, a field might only accept numeric values—if this is true of your database, any entry containing non-numeric characters should be rejected by the system at runtime. 4. Avoid Data Silos Information kept in information silos inaccessible to different departments clouds business transparency and makes your data ineffective. This directly impacts your data integrity, so you should avoid data silos. 5. Introduce Quality Control Put all the necessary policies and procedures in place to ensure your data complies and your governance is unshakable. Regular quality control will help you maintain your data integrity more easily, improving your company's knowledge management in the process. 6. Encrypt Your Data This is especially important when you're managing transmissions between machines or on the internet. Encryption keeps your data out of the wrong hands and protects your company's data integrity. 7. Have an Audit Trail Your data will go through various life stages. So, keeping an audit trail will help you understand what happens if your data is lost or how it's used. 8. Restrict Data Access Human error is one of the biggest threats to data integrity. Keep your access control tight at all times and consider using IAM systems to manage data access. When employees leave, make sure you remove their access rights. 9. Remove Duplicated Data Regularly clean up your data by removing duplicates. There are different tools available to make this task easier for your employees, including advanced search tools that will identify duplicates more easily. 10. Remove Security Vulnerabilities Security vulnerabilities need to be identified and removed. If you install security patches soon after identifying a vulnerability, you can swiftly protect your data integrity. 11. Back Up Your Data It goes without saying that you always need to back up your data. Any business, small or large, should have a system in place for data to be backed up automatically. Apart from reducing your data integrity risk, this will also facilitate multiple aspects of your business, like your document management. 12. Have a Strong Password Policy for Employees Always encourage your employees to use strong passwords. You can also implement an automatic system that forces all employees to change their work passwords once a month for extra peace of mind. * Need help navigating your data? See the best search strategies for databases Which Enterprises Are Most at Risk? Although any company with a data set is automatically at risk, there are three types of enterprises that face the highest level of risk. These are the following: 1. Complex Enterprises It goes without saying that the bigger the enterprise, the more complex it will be—especially where there have been different mergers and acquisitions over time. Different companies come with their own data sets, which means merging becomes complicated and messy in terms of data integrity. 2. Enterprises Using Outdated IT Systems Outdated IT systems will always be a challenge because newer systems can do so much more. The lack of functionality in older systems won't pair well with newer systems, which will directly affect your data. 3. Enterprises Making Changes to Their IT Systems or Functions It isn't always easy to predict how changes to an IT system will affect the integrity of your data. It's easy to understand your integrity will be affected in one way or another, requiring careful supervision as a result. * Need help keeping track of your data? Consider a top enterprise search tool Reduce Data Integrity Risks With the Right Tool Data integrity is a vital part of any organization—it's the foundation that underlies all operations, and without it, your business won't be able to function. That's why it's so important to invest in data integrity solutions that are affordable, easy to use, and reliable to prevent any damage to your company caused by low data integrity. And with these tips and tools, you'll be well on your way to getting a handle on this issue before it spirals out of control. * Want to ensure data integrity with a powerful search tool? Reach your goals with Unleash
Project managementFive Essential Use Cases for Intranet SearchHaving a robust intranet search that helps employees find what they need and get things done is critical for every organization. From the largest global brand to the smallest start-up, good findability is a necessity. It’s important right across any company, helping every function, department and team carry out their daily activities. In this post, we’re going to explore five essential use cases for intranet search across different parts of your organization, and show how specific search features can have a positive impact. 1. Software Engineers and Developers Across their projects and processes, software engineers and developers are used to working with different cloud-based resources. They may be communicating with their team via Slack, working on tickets in Jira, looking up older code snippets in Confluence, using GitHub, viewing project tasks in Asana and accessing documentation stored in Microsoft 365. All that might be happening in just one morning! For employees to best achieve their everyday coding and project goals, a powerful intranet search that can return all the information they need across multiple systems is critical; when this involves just one search box it saves huge amounts of time. For example, we know that Unleash’s long list of integrations is greatly appreciated by both our own software engineers and those of our clients. The right search tool can also help the team monitor new messaging and communication across all these channels, again helping the team stay on track. 2. Sales and Business Development Teams Your sales and BD people are always extremely busy, generating new leads and following up on them, engaging prospects and moving customers through the stages of your sales funnel. They can also be involved in deeper conversations that support account management and develop strong relationships with customers that transform into more sales opportunities further down the line. Often, there are multiple conversations and sales processes going on, some of which evolve quickly and others which take months or even years to come to fruition. Sales and BD teams must be able to access all their latest sales collateral, as well as specific customer information, relevant pitch desks, product updates and research. The need for a strong intranet search is obvious, and the ability to return everything on a customer or prospect all from one search box can help time-stretched sales staff prepare for a meeting. Here, full-text searching across multiple content types is critical. The ability to search multiple sources is also particularly valuable, as they may need to access previous conversations across the team to get the necessary context to make or advance a sale. For example, clients have told us that Unleash’s ability to simultaneously search full text through both content repositories and conversation threads across multiple platforms has proved invaluable in researching clients. The easy ability to drill down into each of the different systems to narrow the search is also very helpful in pinpointing high-value information to support specific moments in the sales process. 3. Product Teams and Other Projects Product management and the associated projects involve a lot of moving parts. Managing a product team, bringing something to market or evolving your next release requires a lot of coordination, and when you’re working to tight schedules, there is little wiggle room in your timetable. Things need to go to plan, but this can be challenging. When some of the team is working remotely, coordination and communication can be even harder. Another hurdle can arise when your product or project team may be working across multiple systems: Slack for communication, Trello for project management, Jira for development tickets and Google Drive for documents, for example.A robust intranet search can prove invaluable. Being able to centralize a search across multiple repositories allows teams to access all related product and project resources quickly and effortlessly. Product teams can also stay on the same page by viewing the status of different tasks across the team, no matter which app they happen to be using. Here, integrating an intelligent search tool like Unleash into your intranet means you can use advanced filters to specifically cover different tasks across multiple systems, transforming your intranet search into a project management tool. 4. Customer Support Teams Excellent support and quick resolution of issues is an essential touchpoint with customers that can make all the difference in supporting customer loyalty and fostering an excellent brand reputation. It’s particularly important for tech companies and start-ups who are looking to establish themselves, grow market share and drive confidence in their products. Your customer support team is only as good as the information it has access to. Being able to access accurate information so issues can be resolved quickly is essential – both when your team are on the phone or online chat with customers, or are trying to get to the bottom of deeper problems offline. Here, a robust intranet search can make a tangible difference to customer support success metrics like first contact resolution rates and average resolution times. For example, an accurate search that can look through support documentation, databases of error codes and previous tickets and conversations can help your support team resolve more complex issues. The ability to search through multiple repositories simultaneously – such as Zendesk, Salesforce and Confluence – and also search individually within each can help remedy issues that much faster. Ultimately, that means more happy customers. 5. HR Teams and Functions HR teams often have a lot on their plate; they get asked a lot of questions, and your HR helpdesk or main HR contact in a smaller company can easily get maxed out. To make things more manageable, HR teams often try to push users towards a self-service approach by providing information so employees can get answers themselves. An intranet is the obvious place for employees to answer questions from “Where can I find the maternity policy?” to “How do I change my bank details for the payroll?”, freeing up valuable time for resource-stretched HR professionals. Here, an intelligent intranet search can be hugely helpful in supporting successful employee self-service. You can create a scoped search within your intranet for specific searches through HR pages, FAQs, policies and other documents that will include the latest information, even if this information is scattered across multiple systems. Semantic search capabilities can allow your employees to ask questions in natural language. Personalized searches can also ensure documents returned are relevant to the individual; for example, you may have slightly different HR policies in your HQ compared to your IT developers or sales staff based in a different country. Arrange a Demo! A powerful intranet search can make all the difference for everyday work across multiple teams and departments. If you’d like to find out how a product like Unleash, offering an enterprise search engine solution, can benefit everybody across your company, then arrange a free demo!
Project managementHow to Preserve Institutional Memory During the Great ResignationEmployees are changing jobs at a particularly high rate right now. Some estimates say one in four Americans changed jobs last year. And based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, resignations don’t appear to be slowing down in 2022 either. Many organizations are scrambling to maintain their institutional memory as employee retention becomes more difficult than ever. In a report published in 2021, PwC said 48% of the organizations want to be less dependent on employee institutional knowledge and are changing processes to get there. Solidify your organization’s institutional memory by fostering an organizational culture that encourages knowledge sharing. As part of that culture, provide opportunities for new employees to learn from experienced employees and supply them with tools that simplify information sharing. Make Knowledge Sharing the Norm A solid organizational memory strategy should involve a few tools (which we’ll cover later in the piece). But alongside this technology, you also need a work environment that encourages information sharing. After all, your company’s collective memory depends on employees who are ready and able to share their knowledge. To preserve institutional knowledge, consider these approaches: Encourage your company’s subject matter experts to share their knowledge—whether that’s through a presentation or a written resource. This information will help other employees learn about your business and its industry, and it may even motivate them to find a way to share their own knowledge.Build processes for entry-level employees to share what they’ve learned from managers and mentorships. Create a safe space where team members can reinforce their knowledge by presenting the information in their own words. Harvard Business Review has several ideas for helping employees solidify what they’ve learned from each other.Promote a variety of ways for employees to learn. Not everyone is going to find the same knowledge-sharing methods helpful, so be sure to offer a few options and promote those methods internally. Chances are, employees will want to share knowledge if you build their awareness of all the tools at their disposal. Whatever initiatives you choose, be sure to survey employees regularly to evaluate your knowledge-sharing culture. Ask questions to gauge how they feel about different policies and tools, like “On a scale of 1 to 5, how easy it is to use [insert knowledge-sharing tool]?” The responses to these surveys will help you find ways to get employees excited about building your company’s institutional memory. Set up a Knowledge Base Make internal knowledge more accessible by securing your institutional memory in a digital knowledge base—a computer system for storing information. With a base, employees can find the resources they need all in one place. There are plenty of ways to set up a knowledge base. Many companies opt to use the knowledge base options within the collaboration or content management software they already use, like Notion, Salesforce, and HubSpot. Employees are likely to take advantage of these bases since they’re already familiar with the underlying technology. Take a look at your tech stack and see if any of your favorite tools can be used to create a knowledge base. Or consider using a dedicated knowledge base tool like Zendesk. Tools that are primarily built to be customer support or employee knowledge base software often come with more options for customization and more features, like robust analytics. As soon as you have the base in place, you can start adding information. Decide what the process for adding or editing pages will be. Depending on the size of your organization, you may want to make a person or several people responsible for making sure the knowledge base stays organized and accurate. This role will also need to update the knowledge base as employees give feedback—remember, it’s a living collective set of facts that’s designed to be constantly updated and refined. The point person will be responsible for managing any requests for articles that don’t exist yet and making sure all pages are easily findable by including relevant search keywords. Begin by adding your onboarding materials to the base as well as the employee handbook (if you have one) and any policies or procedures not included in the handbook. It’s also a good idea to add information about your organizational structure. Any templates your employees use frequently in their work can be added, too. Senior executives might add information about any mentoring programs offered within the organization. Ask the design and marketing teams to add any brand assets and style guides. Every area of the organization will have the know-how that can help current and future employees. You’ll soon see that even the most organized knowledge base can become overwhelming to sort through, so make sure you have a great enterprise search engine to pair with your knowledge base. Adopt a Strong Search Tool Increase information accessibility by investing in a sophisticated search tool that integrates with your knowledge management apps, including your base and communication apps. With this connectivity, the search tool should be able to find files across your tech stack. Say you’re looking for a file someone emailed to you. The search tool would be able to find it, even if you never downloaded it from the message. Along with integrations, look for a tool that uses semantic search. You won’t need to use exact search phrases because the underlying semantic technology can anticipate what a user means. Say you search “Jane’s email” in a search tool with semantic functionality. The tool will know you’re looking for an email address, not just a document with the words “Jane” and “email.” It will also remember which Jane you search for most frequently to provide the most relevant email address. Protect Your Institutional Memory With Unleash A well-designed search tool doesn’t just make it easy to discover knowledge—it also reduces app switching, so your team can spend less time searching. Unleash, for example, lets users launch applications right from the search results. Our platform also integrates with calendar tools and has a dedicated space in the app, so you don’t have to leave the app to see your schedule. Learn more about how Unleash can help you preserve your organization’s institutional memory.