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Search and Destroy: Inefficient Database Searching Wastes Time, Money

Photo: Szymon Apanowicz

For many federal workers, clicking “search” can lead to billions of dollars in lost productivity, according to a new survey.

Nextgov reports on the MeriTalk study, which found inefficient file searching on internal databases accounted for a month of wasted time each year.

The average federal salary is $74,403, which leads to an estimated $15.4 billion “wasted” each year, Nextgov described the study’s findings.

MeriTalk, a government IT network, found 87 percent of federal workers spent time each day searching for files on internal databases.

The study, which surveyed 300 federal workers in July, focused on how they searched for documents and if they were able to find what they were looking for.

The biggest stumbling blocks, according to those federal workers surveyed were:

  • Not enough training on how to use databases
  • Inconsistency of tagging information, which makes material easier to find
  • Lack of awareness about what information is out there

According to the survey, if agency databases were made easier to search, workers could save as much as an hour each day, Nextgov reports.

However, of those surveyed, only 22 percent said more efficient searching was a priority at their agency.

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