3 best practices to optimize your PowerPoint repository in SharePoint

Oct 12, 2016

For many organizations, PowerPoint is a critical resource to share thoughts, drive meetings, and capture content. Although PowerPoint presentations are commonly stored in SharePoint, we often hear that searching for content is an unnecessarily time consuming and painful process. Working with numerous organizations across multiple verticals, we’ve learned 3 best practices that might help optimize your PowerPoint presentation and slide repository in SharePoint.

3 Best Practices to Optimize your PowerPoint Repository in Sharepoint

#1: Add relevant metadata

Metadata allows users to effectively search and filter PowerPoint documents to quickly find content. Often, the structure is not aligned with the end users’ expectations and as a result, the data for many documents are missing.

SharePoint administrators should start by defining a consistent and thorough structure that considers how their users consume content:

  • How is your organization structured? Does the content align with business units?
  • How is your content organized? For example, do you have content for different products, verticals, or functions?
  • Does the author of the file need to be listed?
  • What are the primary uses of the content?
  • Do users need to know what files are externally sharable or confidential?

After outlining your structure, you can define the required metadata properties. Further, you should ideally select a data type of each property. For example:

  • Vertical (property); list (type) – user has to select from a predefined list of verticals
  • Client sharable (property); Boolean (type) – user has to select true or false

Once your metadata properties are defined and complete, create SharePoint views to make the most common filter combinations easily available.

#2: Track usage and check performance

Collecting usage and performance metrics is critical for all software and SharePoint is no exception:

  • Tracking file downloads helps identify your most valuable assets and optimizes your content generation resources
  • Tracking downloads by users helps measure adoption and spot potential content misuse
  • Measuring performance, such as average search response time, ensures a consistent user experience and encourages adoption
    • Tip: On a regular basis, remove old documents to improve performance and increase search relevancy

Further, metrics are helpful when building an internal business case for investments in SharePoint support, maintenance, and new features.

#3: Build a slide library

In addition to storing entire PowerPoint presentations, create a slide library to enable users to quickly access the exact content they need. A PowerPoint slide library allows users to search, preview, and insert single slides into their presentation. For example, a slide library would allow your sales team to access a specific product description slide without having to flip through multiple presentations. A good slide library solution will also let you manage slide versions and allow you to push slide updates to all users.

Older versions of SharePoint include a slide library feature, however, the feature has been discontinued starting with SharePoint 2013.

We’ve previously written about considerations when replacing SharePoint’s slide library. We have also discussed the trade-offs between slide libraries with PowerPoint add-ins versus those that are just web browser accessible.

SharePoint is a powerful content management and collaboration tool. However, optimizing it for PowerPoint requires effort and diligence. Applying the best practices above will help maximize your investment and drive increased productivity across your organization.

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