Capitalise on Big Data with a foolproof document management system

30 Aug, 2018

In the age of Big Data, the sheer volume of data generated and stored each year is a challenge for businesses. Data is an invaluable asset and can give businesses a distinct competitive edge. Effective decision-making depends on the quick access, analysis and interpretation of up-to-date information.

Unstructured data, whether invoices, orders, remittances or contracts, can reduce productivity and profitability in ways business managers may not anticipate. Nashua’s Managed Document Solutions (MDS) is an automated process that can optimise the way your business data is digitised, managed, stored and accessed, eliminating inefficiencies, errors and security risks. MDS can mobilise your remote workforces with secure access to data from any device, provided employees have the appropriate access privileges.

By adopting a few basic organising practices, you can improve employee productivity on a day-to-day basis with a filing system that makes it easy to store, find and use business information.

5 Tips to keep data neatly stored and easily accessible

  1. Map out a filing hierarchy: Paper-based systems required employees to think clearly about filing locations but digital documents can easily get scattered across desktops and servers. Planning out a filing hierarchy will make it easy to slot in new information.
  2. Don’t store files on your desktop: Choose an inspiring desktop wallpaper and make it your mission to keep it clearly visible. At most, your desktop should contain temporary information not yet ready to be filed or trashed.
  3. Limit the number of folders you create: Only create new top line folders if the number of similar files warrants a new dedicated folder in the hierarchy. Make sure that similar folders don’t already exist.
  4. Name your files and folders systematically: Give thought to file and folder naming conventions. A good rule is to include indicators such as project numbers, client names, document names and dates.
  5. Determine logical units of document organisation: In large organisations, employees often work from a shared drive with a set directory structure. Small businesses, however, require the input of relevant teams to draw up a filing structure that makes sense to all involved.

Don’t underestimate the benefits of a smooth operating document management system. A streamlined data flow process will increase efficiency, productivity and ultimately profitability.

5 Benefits of a streamlined data flow process

  • Manage data volume, type and location: Take control of Big Data and the complex and diverse range of business information, including content in applications and social media.
  • Reduce the volume of obsolete data: Minimise data storage costs and dispose of obsolete information – reducing the risk of outdated information being used or distributed.
  • Increase user productivity: Minimise user effort by implementing a simplified and automated method for maintaining a consistent policy on all of your content.
  • Regulatory compliance and reduced legal risk: Adhere to compliance policies and adapt to evolving regulations regarding information retention policies. Discard error-prone data to minimise legal risks.
  • Track data lifecycles: View the historical lifecycle of documents.

Businesses must adapt to evolving regulatory requirements for information retention policies – not just to protect sensitive data but to minimise legal risks. South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) prescribes principles for the collection, processing, movement and storage of personal information. Businesses who processes personal information must ensure accuracy and must have sufficient security measures in place to safeguard against loss, damage and unauthorised access.

Studies show that South African businesses are at a higher risk of data breaches than global counterparts and the average cost of a data breach in 2017 was estimated at R32,36 million. Cybersecurity can be daunting for small businesses who may or may not have an IT department.

Safeguard your digital assets with leading security features such as biometric access control technology and surveillance solutions. Access control in the workplace needs to extend to the use of printers, which can pose a security threat when documents, images, login details and email addresses are stored on the internal hard drive. Multifunction printers store data securely by encryption and user restrictions can prevent unauthorised access to information.

No matter the size, infrastructure or budget of your business, Nashua’s free office assessment is a great starting point to create a streamlined data flow process that can improve your operational efficiency and overall productivity.