Managing electronic records on a day-to-day basis before litigation rears its daunting head is one of the best ways to control e-discovery costs. The keys to good records management are designing policies and procedures to suit an organization’s information culture, and implementing a process to ensure that the policies and procedures are actually followed.
In most organizations, finding the electronic records that need to be managed is often a challenge. The information superhighway is filled with potholes produced from a combination of multiple storage options (such as local drives, server shares, archiving systems and the cloud) and the plethora of information creation and consumption devices (computers, iPads, blackberries, and social network sites, to name a few).
Understanding what electronic records exist, where they are stored, and how they are used in everyday life is critical to effectively managing information. Fortunately, there is a process that captures all this data - information data mapping.
Unlike IT data mapping that is device centric (it shows various storage and network systems, and how they are linked together), an information data map is knowledge centric. It typically describes what kind of information, from communications to contracts to purchase orders, are created, received, acted upon, disposed of, and otherwise consumed by the organization’s workers. It answers the how, why and who of record creation, where it went once created, who used it and why, and what happens to it once it’s no longer needed. This data map should be reviewed and updated as needed on a regular basis, in order to be able to successfully navigate through the organization’s records.
For more information on information data mapping and records management policies, contact Wortzman Nickle.