M365 Information Governance: Automate metadata extraction to improve search and discovery

Atle Skjekkeland


Metadata is key to discover, understand, and manage unstructured information like documents and records. Users benefit from this when trying to find relevant information, but most of them are not willing to add metadata manually when storing important documents and records.

The key to success is therefore to automate how metadata is added to documents and records stored in Microsoft 365. At Infotechtion, we help companies establish an M365 architecture as foundation for automation. Below is an example of how to automate metadata extraction over the information lifecycle to improve search and discovery.

Automate metadata extraction in SharePoint Online

Metadata can be added automatically the following ways:

  1. Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online templates set default metadata on sites that stored files automatically inherent, e.g. using the open-source Infotechtion Teams Hub

  2. Unique metadata per file get extracted automatically with SharePoint Syntex

  3. Approved information deliverables get tagged and/or automatically transferred with PowerAutomate

Metadata can then be used to improve search by enabling metadata filters for search results, or advanced search using the metadata. Teams and site templates also ensures that the access is set correctly to enable better search and discovery.

Search is not the only way to discover information, – many users prefer browsing over search to discover what information is available. Teams and site templates should therefore also ensure correct names are used for all Teams and sites since this makes it easier for users to understand the purpose of the Team or site. Communication sites per business area can be used as intranets to guide users to relevant resources and relevant Hub sites connecting relevant SharePoint sites. This enables users to identify relevant Teams and sites by using Hub site navigation and links.

Please contact us if you need help establishing a M365 architecture as foundation for automation.

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