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How Intelligent Video Search Improves Productivity In The Workplace

In 2018, Mary Meeker and her team at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) presented data in their annual Internet Trends Report that showed the rapid rise in productivity apps that support collaboration and the sharing of information in the workplace. 

The report highlighted specific examples of popular enterprise tools like Slack, Dropbox, and rising star of the video conferencing market, Zoom, calling out their ability to help teams collaborate, exchange, and organize information across systems, making knowledge more accessible and useful.

The stratospheric growth in video usage within companies using Zoom’s video conferencing software — an 85% increase on average — shows just how much organizations will choose to collaborate and share information through video when they have access to tools that make it easy.

Video collaboration & productivity - Zoom usage & benefits chart

You’ve heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, according to Forrester Research, a one-minute video is worth 1.8 million words. And that makes intuitive sense — you can provide a lot more information in a 2-minute video than you can in text that takes 2 minutes to read. Video contains an abundance of data in each frame, which all work together to improve a viewer’s ability to remember the messages and details within that video.

Put simply, video enables employees to communicate nearly anything in less time and with more depth than would be possible in a written message or document, particularly when it comes to explaining complex processes and teaching other employees something new. What’s more, employees are 75 percent more likely to watch a video than read text.

Think about all of the information your organization has already captured in videos, and how much more you could easily acquire if people simply pressed record more often.

Recording videos is now easier than ever. Nearly everyone today already has a powerful video recording device in their pockets: their smartphones. And most video conferencing solutions enable people to record meetings, training sessions, and more with just a click. 

Now, more than ever, organizations are using video to add efficiency, clarity, and consistency to many aspects of their business operations. This includes:

  • Recording and documenting meetings
  • Training employees at scale
  • Onboarding new hires
  • Engaging audiences in corporate communications
  • Enabling sales teams
  • Educating customers

As a result of this movement, organizations of every size are amassing a ton of potentially useful knowledge and information stored inside growing archives of video recordings

There’s one big problem, though: searching the actual content and details shared in those videos.

The Video Search Problem

Historically, there’s been a good reason why internal resources like process documentations, training guides, and meeting minutes are primarily created in the form of text documents, PDFs, slide decks, spreadsheets, and web pages in employee portals — with anything text-based, employees can just press control+f and instantly find what they’re looking for. 

The downside to these resources, however, is that to create them, employees often spend countless hours writing down detailed processes and directions, complete with screenshot after screenshot, when they could have presented the information in a video in a fraction of the time. 

And many times, they’re actually doing double work — creating written documentation in addition to presenting the same information in person or in a video conference. 

Taking meeting minutes and writing meeting recap emails are similarly redundant tasks. While having the details of a meeting to reference later can be extremely valuable, your people shouldn’t be distracted from contributing to a meeting because they’re taking notes, nor should meeting leaders have to worry about sending a summary of the meeting to their teammates while the details are still fresh in their minds. What’s more, even when done well, none of those steps can truly replicate all the details from a meeting — not everything will be captured in notes, and different people will find varying parts of the meeting important depending on their role or perspective.

Related Reading: A Better Meeting Culture Starts With Recording Meetings


In the end, what you have is a small problem that can take a big hit on your organization’s bottom line. 

Just looking for information at work eats up valuable time. The average large business in the US loses $47 million in productivity each year as a direct result of inefficient knowledge sharing. This includes waiting for information from their coworkers, trying to find information stored throughout various employee portals, network folders, or other asset management systems, and duplicating other people’s work.

For example, an employee may know that there’s a recording of the training that they attended last week. But now that they need to put what they learned into practice, they need a quick refresher on the details. Without search, they’re left to either skip through the video hoping to stumble onto the part they need or watch it from the beginning. Or perhaps reach out to another colleague who they think can help. 

Assuming everyone in your organization is spinning their wheels trying to find information like in the above example on a weekly basis (and they are), a lot of resources are being wasted.

But there’s a solution to the video search problem.

Smarter Video Search

From a productivity standpoint, video simply isn’t as transformative as it could be with a more intelligent video search solution.

In the past, making videos searchable required hours and hours of manually tagging important topics and ideas. Not only was this time consuming, but it was up to the person tagging the video to determine what parts of the video were important. Without a more advanced video search solution, a search could only return recordings that happened to include the search term in the video’s name or other manually-entered metadata.

Given that most recordings are given reasonably generic names like “11-12-2019 – Product Status Meeting,” it’s easy to imagine how challenging it can become for employees to even find the right video. 

And considering that most organizations’ video libraries are growing by hundreds or even thousands of recordings annually — everything from formal training and communications to recorded meetings, documentation, and quick how-tos — searching video by metadata alone only becomes more and more difficult every day. 

Fortunately, thanks to new video search technologies, you don’t have to be stuck relying on metadata to find information inside your videos. 

In fact, it’s now possible to search your video recordings as easy as you can search text. 

A modern video platform can index much of the actual content of your recordings — the actual words spoken and shown on-screen — making it possible for your audience to instantly find and fast-forward to the relevant information they need, no matter how long a video is. In the Panopto video platform, we call this Smart Search

Panopto’s video search engine employs automated video indexing to capture what’s happening in your video. These tools can often be applied to a video the very instant recording is completed, expediting the process of indexing the content inside the video. Every video captured and uploaded to Panopto, for example, will be automatically transcribed and indexed for search using the following video search technologies:

Three Critical Video Search Technologies

  1. Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) identifies each word that is spoken in a recording. Once identified, the words are time stamped and added to a search index. Users can then search for spoken words, find the precise moment in the video when they were mentioned, and fast-forward to that point in the video. Since many viewers will be searching for a moment based on an idea or phrase they remember, ASR is an incredibly helpful part of your video search engine.
  2. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) recognizes text shown on-screen within videos. Often in presentations, a speaker will switch between slides, live on-screen content, and even other videos. Without OCR, any text shown as part of those presentations cannot be searched because the text is captured as an image and can’t be recognized. OCR technology, however, is designed to identify and decipher those words, allowing your viewers to search for literally any word that appears on-screen anywhere in a video or meeting recording.
  3. Slide Content Ingestion imports and indexes your actual PowerPoint, Google Slides or Keynote presentations when used in a video. Content ingestion differs from OCR in that it programmatically extracts the actual text strings from the slides being presented, rather than taking a picture of the slide and attempting to identify words. Slide ingestion also extracts additional information that isn’t shown on-screen, such as speaker’s notes, so that your team can always find precise moments in video based on any word contained on any slide.

With Panopto, a simple search will show you not only the videos in your library that contain your search, but also when the search appears in the video, so viewers can jump to that exact moment with just a click within seconds of their query. A comprehensive video search solution enables your people to search your archive of videos just like they would their email to find rich information that would otherwise not be available. 

Calculate how much your organization could be saving with better video search capabilities >

How Intelligent Video Drives Productivity

“Intelligent video” (also called video intelligence) refers to a relatively new concept that more and more businesses are looking to leverage. Intelligent video applications enable employees, managers, and administrators to get data and insights quickly from not only individual video recordings but also collections of videos within a video library, as well as the entire video library.

What is video intelligence?

At its most basic definition, video intelligence refers to the act of extracting and delivering rich data from videos through automated algorithms.

Ultimately, video intelligence supports organizations in two ways. First, it improves workplace productivity by giving people new ways to share, find, and reuse detailed information through video in record time. And second, it gives organizations new and actionable insights from the flood of video already traversing corporate networks.

What does that mean for businesses in terms of productivity? It means that, through intelligent video, a greater amount of information can be captured and shared faster, and many redundant tasks can be replaced by simply pressing record.  

Meet Panopto, The Intelligent Video Platform

Panopto’s industry-leading video platform, includes a number of features that can give your people and your organization more information from your video assets, enabling them to extract insights from videos faster than they could otherwise. These include:

  • Advanced video search that indexes every word spoken and every word shown in a video.
  • Automatic transcriptions that can be shared, searched, and skimmed.
  • Automatic captioning so people can follow along and more deeply engage with video content.
  • Auto-generated table of contents for easy skimming and jumping ahead to interesting sections.
  • Auto-generated video thumbnails for quick navigation either forward or backwards through a video.
  • Variable speed playback that lets someone watch a recording in half the time, or slow it down to dig into a more complex subject that’s covered.
  • In-video notes and discussions that can add context to content within a video and enable collaboration.
  • Administrator controls for automating and managing recording, sharing permissions, approval workflows, content retention, and availability windows.
  • Video analytics that can show you what’s watched the most, what’s searched for the most, who’s watching what, and more.
Panopto intelligent video analytics

Want To Support Productivity With Intelligent Video? 

Panopto offers an intelligent and flexible video solution that integrates with core business systems like video conferencing, in-room AV systems, content management systems (CMSs), and learning management systems (LMSs) to broadly support workplace productivity. Record, live stream, edit, securely share, and search all of your organization’s videos with one easy-to-use technology.

Want to see how video can maximize productivity at your organization? Give Panopto a try.