Tip #2: Trace your history with metadata
Accounting systems give the ability to look through past actions to analyze historical transactions and identify the source of errors because they create an electronic paper trail. But other departments – whether they’re producing Word documents or CAD drawings – occasionally need a way to retrace their steps, too.
Our second recommendation to those contemplating a new company-wide document management system is to make sure the solution has a means of looking backward. The DMS should record a change log with user names, timestamps and comments. This kind of information is essentially data about data, what the IT world refers to as “metadata.”
The metadata structure in a DMS creates an efficient index of database contents for quick searches, and it can contain extra details about the stage of work completion. And with the addition of attributes like user names, dates, and times, this DMS database constructs a history of all past actions.
Combining both workflow and history metadata in an electronic document management system can have transformative effects throughout the office. With workflow attributes, employees can see instantly what work has been completed and ready to go to the next stage. With history capabilities, managers can identify who is responsible for errors in process. This leads to an atmosphere of accountability. If your employees know their file actions can be retraced, they are less likely to handle important digital assets carelessly.
See previous: tip #1.
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