Tips on how to protect and manage your business records and data
We live in a data-driven world where the volume of data being produced in today’s business setting is mind boggling. Keeping electronic and paper records organized and accessible can be one of the hardest challenges faced in today’s business environment. Here are tips based on Schofield’s Laws of Computing for managing your business data in both electronic and paper format.
Be mindful on what data to save and what to purge:
Have you ever worked on a file and found yourself saving three to five different versions of the same file? It seems logical and convenient to save everything on your computer rather than allocating the time and effort needed to review the unnecessary versions of the file in order to save the final copy. Saving all files, whether they are useful or not, comes with a cost to a company’s bottom line relating to physical storage of paper documents, bandwidth consumption, and loss of valuable time reviewing unnecessary files to locate the information you need.
Never put data into a program unless you can see exactly how to get it out in the future:
This is a suggestion based on Schofield’s First Law of Computing, related to storing data on devices that use open source format and can be transferable when new technology is available. It seems the latest gadget with the best features was just released, only to find it is outdated the day after you purchase it. It is easy to get caught up on a trend and think you have the latest and greatest device but don’t lose focus on what is important, the data stored in those devices. What works today, may not be compatible with the devices of tomorrow, similar to outdated technologies like the floppy disk or VHS tapes.
Data doesn’t really exist unless you have at least two copies of it:
This suggestion follows Schofield’s Second Law of Computing that relates to the importance of backing up files and having at least two copies available in case one is damaged. For example, the US Air Force found itself in a similar predicament earlier in the year when 100,000 pending investigations went missing and couldn’t be recovered. Keeping two or even three copies (include both digital and paper copies) stored in an offsite location can reduce the probability of information being lost or inaccessible.
Set time from your schedule to back up your files:
Most companies have policies for their employees to follow regarding backing up their data at work. Unfortunately, that can be forgotten with a daily work routine. Consider having a set time and date once a month for everyone to archive and backup files. Even posting an announcement in common areas like the break room or sending an email reminder can help avoid unnecessary risks.
Protection when natural disasters and the unexpected occur
You might have a secured area on-site where you store important business records but how could you avoid losing vital records if an earthquake, or flood impacts your physical location and you can’t access them or the entire building is gone? Advanced Records Management offers secured, off-site storage and peace of mind that your important records are safe and accessible when you need them the most. Learn how Advanced Records Management can provide additional protection and a customized solution based on your needs by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org