Structured Content Management Solutions

Is inaccessible unstructured content limiting your productivity, increasing costs, and reducing profits?

ArborSys Structured Content Management Services 80-20 unstructured

Organizations are faced with managing massive amounts of content. A significant amount of that content is unstructured, as much as 80% in some cases. This means that content gets locked within documents with no good way to easily find and reuse specific information for downstream needs or as feeds into systems. The content in documents is either saved on someone’s computer hard drive or within a vast document management system (local or cloud-based platform), which makes it a daunting task for business users to find and use relevant information within the documents. How many versions of this document exist? Are they all the same? Which version contains the source of truth? Who changed it for a special need or reused the content in a new document?

This creates numerous problems:

  • Content is recreated multiple times because the single source of truth cannot be found
    • Wasted resource time recreating content
    • Wasted resource time reapproving content
    • Potential introduction of inconsistencies and inaccuracies
  • Locating the correct, approved version of content is a challenge
    • Wasted resource time searching
    • Wasted resource time validating that it is in fact the correct version
  • Pre-approved content used within a document is reviewed and approved multiple times
    • Wasted cycles of reviews and comments on approved content
    • Changes to approved content, when none should have been made
    • Potential introduction of inconsistencies
  • Ensuring that the correct standardized and pre-approved text has been included within a document during the authoring process is difficult
  • Determining where content has been reused in related documents is nearly impossible
    • Inability to locate and update all related instances of the content

These problems waste time and resources, increase costs, and lead to delays in time-to-market. In highly-regulated industries such as pharmaceutical, financial services, or government, the ability to rapidly provide information that is accurate, consistent, and of quality is an imperative business need. In the pharmaceutical industry, the quality and timeliness of documents submitted to regulatory agencies are critical factors in getting products approved for market.

The ArborSys Structured Content Management Solution

To deal with unstructured data, you must break out of a document-centric mindset and shift to a component content-based approach. At ArborSys, we provide structured content management (SCM) solutions to enable the efficient and effective management of your content. We can structure your content using a well-described information design process to create an information architecture that describes all of your information and how it should be managed. Content is broken down into smaller “chunks” or components to allow for easy reuse or repurposing within different contexts (e.g., for a certain document), or for output to multiple audiences and formats. The structural definition of the document template (similar to a Table of Contents) is used to define the order in which the components should be presented for a specified output or document type. Components and structural document templates are both assigned metadata to facilitate rapid search and reuse, potentially for “intelligent” reuse (e.g., certain components may be linked to a structural document template based on a series of predefined criteria).

ArborSys provides the following SCM services:

ArborSys Structured Content Management Services

ArborSys can help your organization create and reuse content more effectively and efficiently while increasing overall quality. Our SCM solutions also improve your organization’s ability to manage growth and expansion of content. We have the people, process, and expertise to take on your SCM initiatives.

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ArborSys Structured Content Management Services 80-20 unstructured

Are you interested in realizing some benefits of structured content, but are not quite ready for a full implementation of an SCM solution? Well, let ArborSys help you build “intelligent” templates in Microsoft Word. Our content-enriching strategy has 3 main aspects:

  • Analyze existing Microsoft Word templates within the clinical continuum to align them structurally
  • Adopt a metadata model to allow for persistent metadata within a document
  • Build on the key features in the Common Protocol Template from TransCelerate Biophama Inc.
    • Establish general and therapeutic area (TA) libraries, to manage and version that content separately from a template
    • Utilize content controls for semantic tagging to allow for import and export of content by exploiting the OpenXML features of MS Word
    • Tag common variables (e.g., study number) for automated propagation during authoring

Using advanced Microsoft Word features aligned with the structural aspects of the templates within the clinical continuum, allows us to dramatically enhance the value of your content created during the authoring process. In addition to offering greater and consistent reuse of content, our approach will make information available to different applications or documents without the need to re-enter the information (e.g., for downstream reuse by

While our approach is independent of any specific SCM or Topic-based Authoring (TBA) application, the enhanced functionality of Microsoft Word-based templates will facilitate ultimate transition to a full SCM or TBA solution.

Contact ArborSys today if you are interested in learning more about this “intelligent” interim solution.

It is well documented that many IT projects fail or are at least less successful than intended due to a lack of change management. SCM projects are no different. In many ways, they require extra change management planning and execution.

The far-reaching benefits of SCM are precipitated by changing tools, processes, and how people work. This means change on three fronts. Writers in particular must make major changes in how the work. Their tools may be different. How they approach a writing task will be different. They may be working in ways that are completely new and require a major paradigm shift (e.g., moving from a document-centric to component-centric approach in writing).

Build early communications and awareness sessions into your project plan. Spend the time to make a complete impact assessment to understand where change is coming from, who is impacted, and the magnitude of the impact. Develop a solid case for change benefits and communicate them regularly through multiple channels. Engage with key end-users early on and get them on-board to support your change initiative. During implementation, provide extra resources to provide support and follow-on training to those who might need it.

ArborSys has worked with many of the SCM platform vendors. We know the in-and-outs of their solutions. We know how to implement them. Most important, we know their strengths and weaknesses. If you are looking to acquire an SCM solution, ArborSys provides unbiased technology selection advisory services.

ArborSys has worked with many of the SCM platform vendors. We know the in-and-outs of their solutions. We know how to implement them. Most important, we know their strengths and weaknesses. If you are looking to acquire an SCM solution, ArborSys provides unbiased technology selection advisory services.

Learn more about our Technology Selection Advisory services.

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