8 Benefits of the Intranet Content Inventory

| September 2, 2010 | Comments

A Intranet Content Inventory offers a significant number of benefits for intranet search, navigation, project planning, governance and useful information curation for staff.

The process of conducting a Content Inventory for a new or existing Intranet can be an tedious task.   However, this activity is an essential step for an Intranet Content Strategy that produces meaningful and useful information for staff.  A Intranet Content Inventory is one of the most important spreadsheets used for Intranet design planning.

What Content do you have?

An Intranet Content Inventory is a list of

  • all the content on your Intranet
  • the content you are planning to include on your Intranet.
Intranet Content Inventory Benefits

A poster summarising the 8 benefits of Content Inventories for Intranets.

Improved Project Planning with a Intranet Content Inventory

When planning Intranet Projects, starting with a Content Inventory is a fundamental step for determining how much work will be involved.   When redesigning or maintaining an Intranet, the Content Inventory will again assist to:

  • determine the content to be removed,
  • the content to be revised
  • the content to be created.

All of these activities can carry an estimated time frame to aid project planning.

Improved Search Capability with a Intranet Content Inventory

A Forrester research study revealed only 44% of Intranet keyword search results are successful in finding relevant content.  In contrast, a study by Pew Internet & American life revealed that 87% of Internet keyword searches resulted in relevant content.

The vast difference between Intranet vs Internet search results is based on search engine optimisation (SEO) activities for Internet website.  SEO is generally not a consideration for internal Intranets.  The Intranet Content Inventory can assist with determining keywords to assign to important content for internal search tools.

Designing Meaningful Navigation / Information Architecture with a Intranet Content Inventory

The Intranet Content Inventory can be used as a source document for card sorting activities.  Card sorting is a usability technique used to create an overall structure for content to that assists with:

  • navigation and information architecture design
  • secondary and tertiary menus design
  • taxonomies for Intranet search.

Producing Accurate Information for Employees from a Intranet Content Inventory

Content Inventories assist to quickly determine if the content is inaccurate or out of date.  Inaccurate information can:

  • mislead employees resulting in loss of productivity,
  • increased exposure to legal risks
  • or simply embarrassing workplace situations.

Publishing Useful Information for Employees from a Intranet Content Inventory

An Intranet Content Inventory provides qualitative assessment of content based on two factors:

  1. Value to the content owner / business line – Is the content fulfilling the goals and objectives of the content owner or line of business?
  2. Value to the employee audience – Does the cotent assist employees to achieve their goals?

If the content fails to fulfill business objectives and employee goals, it is wasted content.

Effective Information for Employees

The Intranet Content Inventory can be mapped to Intranet web analytics reports to determine how many employees are visiting and reacting to the content.  This is a useful activity to assess the effectiveness of search or information architectures.

Content Governance

Understanding the types of content, its relationships and patterns also assists with developing a governance framework around how the content is managed and updated appropriately.   Intranet content can be created inhouse by content owners, by content partners via newsfeeds, articles and blog posts or by the employees themselves.  Content Inventories expose these relationships and sources of content allowing an efficient governance model to be established.

Ease of Content Maintenance

A Content Inventory should be a dynamic document that is constantly updated as the content evolves and changes.   When managed appropriately, a Content Inventory greatly assists with the maintenance and constant evolution of Intranet content.

:: Further Resources ::

What is a Content Inventory

Fat Purple :: Content Inventory

Content Inventory (Mind Numbingly Detailed Odyssey though your website)

Creating a SEO Content Inventory

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Category: Intranets

About the Author ()

Teale Shapcott is a multidisciplinary User Experience expert passionate about making websites, software and intranets easy to use and engaging for people. Teale’s career has spanned 16 years of design experience moving from graphic / web design to user interface design to designing processes and customer experience for corporate intranets. Teale enjoys weaving together different disciplines and perspectives together to solve complex design problems. When she isn’t busy designing great experiences, Teale can be found, camera in hand, looking for beauty, inspiration and fresh perspectives.


  1. Benefits of a Intranet Content Inventory – Teale Shapcott…

    This article has been submitted to IntranetLounge, a website with a collection of links to the best articles about intranets…

  2. We recently did a content inventory a few months ago. We did it to help migrate our intranet to a new platform.

  3. […] Teale Shapcott ha  pubblicato un post che riassume i benefici di un buon content inventory per la intranet. […]

  4. […] •  Benefits of a Intranet Content Inventory •  Intranet redesign, Phase 2: information architecture and content audit •  Content audit guide and template •  Intranets are not information dumps •  The Death of Fluff Content: Content Strategy for Businesses […]

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  7. Teale says:

    Hi Lisa,
    If you want the updates from my site, simply click on the Subscribe button on the left hand side of the page. You will get email updates and updates via Google when new articles are posted. Cheers,