Full text search is a powerful feature of digital Document Management Systems, enabling users to recall documents in seconds regardless of how a document has been named and subsequently saved. Whether that makes no sense at all or it's crystal clear, we're here to explain further.
Full text search works with electronically stored data and refers to the search of specific text within that data set. Full text search really comes into its own when a user only knows a portion of the data they are looking for, stored alongside a lot of other information.
An example of this is how Google works, albeit on a much bigger scale. A user types what they're looking for into the search engine, Google scours all data across the internet and brings back relevant results. Users don't have to spend hours clicking through numerous websites and reading articles to find the information they're looking for.
Our document management software works in the same way.
One of the key benefits of using dedicated document management software such as DocuWare is the impressive search capabilities on offer.
DocuWare is a Document Management System where documents, emails, drawings, photos, spreadsheets etc. are stored in digital filing cabinets - replacing physical filing cabinets or network folders.
Documents are saved in a particular way as specified by the solution designer when the software is being implemented. Invoices can be stored against, and then subsequently searched for by supplier name, date, project, invoice number etc. Organisations can choose to store documents against one of these, all, or another criteria entirely.
DocuWare systems are designed with personalised search and store dialogues so that users can use the key information known as “meta data” to store and search within the document repository.
With an invoice that was stored to DocuWare 12 months ago for example, the meta data assigned to the document would be used to search for it. As mentioned above this could be anything from an invoice number to a supplier.
Often our clients will use a date range to search for the documents they require, such as all invoices stored in 2022 as in the example below.
Should this search query bring back too many results, the user can narrow the search further by supplier or a specific month.
There are occasions when users want to find a document but either they don’t know key information such as the date, or the information they require wasn’t part of the meta data gathered by DocuWare when storing that document. In this instance the user has the option to run a “full text search” to bring back the results they need.
An example of this is when a sales team member asks the accounts department the amount paid for a particular cleaning product called 'BH-71'. The line-item data on the invoice was not used for the meta tags when storing documents which means a standard search won’t help.
However, because DocuWare carries out full Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of every document stored, the information required is easily found. Full text search uses OCR technology to run searches on any word, number or phrase.
Full text search is handy for so many of our clients and is used in a variety of ways to ensure process optimisation while increasing efficiency.
In an audit you may need to prove your organisation is GDPR compliant and that you have robust processes in place for handling and storing personal information.
Full text search enables businesses to find all documents relating to a specific employee instantly, and subsequently when they were stored and who has access rights to them.
Need to find an address to check previous applications? This can easily be done with a full text search, ensuring no previous application is missed and therefore no mistakes are made.
Repeat business from a customer means consistent pricing and DocuWare's search capabilities allows past quotes to be quickly checked to see what was charged for a product or service.
Should there be an update to a company policy it's not necessary to re-write the entire thing, but change a single clause across a variety of documents.
A search brings back quick results so changes can be easily applied throughout. These documents can also be pushed out to employees via a DocuWare notification to make all staff aware there is an update that requires reading or approving.
The Accounts Manager of a Facilities Management Company had this to say about DocuWare's search capabilities:
"The company benefits greatly from the time saved during the entire invoicing process. The convenient full-text search function means that a desired document can be found in seconds when a customer has a question. Employees can thus email a missing invoice to the customer again with just a few mouse clicks”
This demonstrates that the power of being able to search documents so easily not only benefits employees but customers too. Answering a customer query quickly and efficiently improves relationships and trust.
For more information about storing documents digitally with DocuWare, how full text search can speed up business processes or for a demo of our software, get in touch with a member of our team.
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