Essential Records Management Procedures for Effective Records Archiving

If you own an organization or are a part of it as an employee, you need to understand the importance of data. Without data, no organization can survive in today’s world. It would not be wrong to say that data is to organizations what water is to humans. However, obtaining data is only the start.

Every organization must have a mechanism to store, retrieve, and destroy the data when required. Thus, we recommend that organizations must invest in an archives and records management system. Such a system ensures reliable and consistent record management.

The purpose of today’s blog post is to let you know the procedures for effective record archiving.

Required Data

Today, organizations obtain large amounts of data from numerous sources. For instance, even comments on social media pages are considered data. Such data is useful to a business as it helps them understand the consumer sentiment towards the brand. While data comes from numerous sources, not all of it is worthwhile to an organization.

So, saving all of it is a waste of resources. Imagine how much an organization would have to invest in storage to save such amounts of data. Therefore, an organization must first decide which data is useful and which needs to be destroyed. It will help the organization save considerable resources.

How to Differentiate Between Useful & Non-Useful Data?

If you want to set up an effective archives and records management system, ask yourself these questions,

“Will this data help us achieve our objectives?”

“Will this data help us improve our processes?”

“Will this data help us better serve our customers?”

If all the answers are ‘no’, then there is no need to store that data. If the answer is ‘yes’ to any one of these questions, store that data.

Policies & Procedures

Most organizations rely upon unwritten policies & procedures when it comes to effective records archiving. It leads to inconsistency and legal issues. Therefore, we recommend that the organization must first set up written policies and procedures. They must govern data storage, retention, retrieval, and discarding. These policies and procedures must be applied to all information sources. For instance, they must be set up for email, physical data, online information, and all other types.

Accessibility

What is the purpose of records archiving? The purpose is to retrieve the data at a later date when required. So, there needs to be a system for accessing the data, right? The most effective way of data storage is by assigning it multiple codes. For instance, you can assign it a date, creator tag, location, subject matter, or any other code. Hence, when you require that data, all you need to do is search for it by using any one of the codes.

Some data is required by law to be kept in physical form. In that case, the best approach is to hire a record management company. They will safely store the data on your behalf in exchange for a fee. The benefit of such a company is that you do not need to dedicate a large space for the files. You do not need to worry about data loss or theft as these companies undertake extreme precautions for data safety.

Audit

An effective record archiving procedure is incomplete without an audit. Therefore, the organization must set up an audit system where it checks whether all employees are following the company’s policies and procedures. The audit must be conducted regularly so that any issue is fixed promptly. Otherwise, the issue will go unnoticed and wreak havoc on a larger scale.

Disposal

The last thing that you need to concern yourself is about data disposal. All data can be recovered. So, you need to set up an effective disposal method. For instance, for online data, you can trash the hard drive. For the physical data, you can shred it or light it on fire in a controlled environment.

Wrap Up

It concludes today’s article on effective records archiving. If you have any questions or suggestions in mind, let us know. Also, we recommend that you review your data archiving policies and procedures to ensure that they are up to date with current requirements. The reason is that complacency will undoubtedly land your organization on the wrong side of data-related laws. For instance, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fines about £18 million) or 4% of annual global turnover – whichever is greater for any transgressions. So, handle the data with utmost care. Thank You.

Usman Ali
Author: Usman Ali

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