Documents and data are a top asset in your company. Do you treat them that way? Are they organized and available to your staff to use in their day to day activities? Far too often, businesses have their data stored in ways that are inefficient and messy. Documents are often spread between multiple computers and other devices in a disorganized fashion, making it difficult for staff to access them and share them with each other. This lack of efficiency can affect productivity in the office, ultimately impacting your business’s bottom line.
Keeping It Central
Central data storage is one of the key factors in data management. Rather than having each staff member store their data on their computers individually, it’s best practice to have all the data for your company in one place. That could be done with a server, a Network Attached Storage device, SharePoint, or a range of other options. Once your company’s data is centrally stored, it is much easier to manage.
Keeping It Secure
Access control can be used to ensure that the right people have access to the right data. Data can be stored in different folders with different groups of users being granted or denied access to those locations. So, for instance, your company could have one store of data that everyone can access, an accounting folder that only certain staff members can access, and an executive store that only partners can access. This allows you to have all your data in one place while ensuring that sensitive information is only available to the right people.
Keeping It Safe
Centrally stored data is also much easier to backup in a manageable fashion. If each staff member stores data on their computers individually, you could potentially have dozens of backup solutions in place to make sure all of your data is secure. Someone would also need to monitor all of those backups to ensure that they are completing successfully. If all of your data is stored in one location, there is only one location to backup and one location to monitor.
Keeping It Structured
The structure of data storage is also important. If all of your data is simply dumped into one big pool it can be difficult to find what you need and will make your staff less likely to collaborate efficiently. Data should be stored in a folder structure that loosely matches the structure of your company. For instance, you may have folders titled “Service,” “New Client Development,” “Internal Operations,” etc. There should be further structure within those data stores. For instance, your “Internal Operations” folder may contain folders such as “Finance,” “Human Resources,” “Databases,” etc. If your company produces Standard Operating Procedure documents, storing them within a logical folder structure like this will ensure that your staff can access them easily and quickly when they are needed.
Data doesn’t do you any good if you can’t find it when you need it. Centralized storage with an organized folder structure is essential to any plan for document and data management. If you need help creating a file storage system that works for your business, give us a call at Mankato Computer Technology.