After adding metadata to reports, organizing individual reports into folders will help users get to the right reports quickly.
For a small report set (10 – 15 reports), the easiest thing is to put the files at the top level (not in a folder) and use the metadata (title, description, update) to guide the user to the right information. As your collection grows, develop a system that minimizes clicks to files and puts related files into the same folder.
Here’s a view before adding metadata and standardizing file names:
Here are some ideas on how to store files to make them easily found, navigated, and used:
- Identify the most used reports with the widest geographic scope and put them on the top level
This can be done via site statistics to determine which reports are most downloaded or simply selecting the reports which are used on a regular basis. Aim for 5 reports at most.
- Name folders consistently and with names that identify what’s inside them
Keep folder names short and simple. Make it easy for users to identify what’s inside them. Make it easier for the user to find their files withouth scrolling (lots of folders at top level) and pr lots of clicks (many nested folders). For example, if you have state or city level data, you may want to store them in regions, especially if each region has multiple specialized reports. (for example, a Sales Report and a Campaign Report.
- Add an Archive folder
The Archive folder should mirror the structure of the main folder, but have prior versions of the reports. This way if someone needs historical information, all the old reports will be accessible, but not crowd out the new reports.