Benefits of a Data Management System

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Data, whether in electronic or paper form, are an essential part of every company. Managing business information, sometimes from multiple sources, can be a difficult task. Depending on the nature of your business, a data management (DM) solution that captures, stores, and retrieves both paper and electronic documents can provide your organization with many key benefits.

There are people who personally prefer chaotic workplaces and insist that chaos inspires their creativity. This may be true, but it hardly works in a business environment where people are generally equipped with the right productivity tools to do the right job. This article examines the benefits of managing your business records with data management software.

It happens to even the best of us. Data gets misplaced and you spend hours looking for it in vain. Then your brother or sister, your friend or colleague tells you in the most contemptuous tone: “Stop looking for it. You will find it when he or she finally decides to show up”.

And you know what, in the end, they are almost always right. The moment you stop looking for that damn data when you’ve already forgotten it, you find it lying innocently on a pile of other documents, on your bedside table or in other places you thought you already had, but never really had, as if you were enjoying every moment of this little game of hide-and-seek.

It’s a situation you can laugh about if it’s not a matter of life and death or is in any way critical to the company if you find it immediately. What if it’s the document a team needs to start a project that is extremely time-sensitive? What if it’s a document that can save an ailing company from costly litigation? Or perhaps a government decree of shutdown?

What is a data management system?

Data management comprises the processes and procedures that your organization uses to capture, store, secure, and retrieve information on a daily basis”, a process that can be simplified by using data management software.

Data management software allows organizations to easily combine paper and digital files in a single center by scanning physical documents, such as cheques and business cards, and importing digital formats. Supported file formats include Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, and more.

The basic components of software systems for document management are;
  • Document storage
  • Check-in / Check-out
  • Coordination of simultaneous processing
  • Security and access control
  • Search and recovery
  • Version control
  • Indexing and classification
  • Audit trails
  • Notes

7 main benefits of records management systems

  • Reduced storage space
  • Enhanced security
  • Improving regulatory compliance
  • An easier search
  • Better collaboration
  • Better backup and disaster recovery
  • And the “intangibles”

1. Reduced storage space
The costs of commercial real estate are increasing, as are the expenses related to the storage of paper documents. A data management software solution (DMS) that can reduce the need for filing cabinets, boxes, and storage bins is a valuable asset for any business, freeing up valuable office space. Documents that need to be kept as hard copies can often be stored in less expensive locations, such as a warehouse or off-site vault.

2. Enhanced security
Data security is vital to many businesses. DMS enables better control of sensitive documents. Access to documents can be controlled at the file level for different groups or individuals. In addition, a DMS leaves a controlled trail of who has accessed a document, when it was accessed and how it could be modified. Managed documents are highly traceable and can be tagged to allow automated alerts.

3. Improving regulatory compliance
Compliance requirements for some documents can be quite complex. Non-compliance can result in fines, license revocations, and, in some cases, criminal liability. Federal and state regulations impose strict guidelines for security and confidentiality. The DMS reduces the risk of non-compliance. Record retention schedules, for example, can be automated and new documents can be more easily filed and stored.

4. Facilitating research
Searching for and retrieving data can be time-consuming and we all know that time is money.

A data management solution that is specifically tailored to your business can be a powerful and time-saving tool. Depending on the implemented solution, a DMS can retrieve files by a word or phrase in a document full-text search, or the DMS can apply index categories to a document or folder. Easier integration with business applications facilitates access to important information. The DMS also offers the possibility of remote access to documents. As long as there is an Internet connection, documents can be accessed from virtually anywhere.

5. Better cooperation
With the DMS, information exchange and collaboration can be much easier. Documents captured from different sources can be accessed from multiple locations. Electronic image processing makes it possible to share documents over a network via e-mail or the Internet. DMS provides greater visibility into business processes and can enable better monitoring of workflows. Access by external users can be authorized and controlled. The DMS also offers version control, which allows old versions of the same document to be restored if necessary. This function is important when several parties are working on the same document and changes are made to a document that was not authorized or planned.

6. Better Backup and Disaster Recovery
Every records management solution must include a backup and disaster recovery plan. With digital archiving as a backup, paper records are protected against fire, flood, and other disasters. With a DMS, documents are highly traceable and can be tracked according to a number of criteria.

Since the documents displayed are stored centrally, they cannot be lost or misplaced even after being consulted. There is less risk of documents being misfiled and, if they are, they are easier to find through cross-indexing. Documents can be scanned and archived at their point of entry into the system.

7. Intangible assets

Among the intangible advantages of a Records Management System are the following:
  • Flexibility
  • Competitiveness
  • Improvement of customer relations
  • Peace of mind

Time is precious, and time-saving is a definite advantage of DMS, often directly translating into increased productivity. Faster and more efficient document retrieval can improve staff morale and customer satisfaction. In addition, document management solutions are scalable to meet the changing needs of any organization.

Appropriate data management systems can bring many benefits to your business and your office. Take the initiative and plan a demonstration today to see how a customized data management solution can help you improve your business processes and increase efficiency.

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