Digitising your paper files seems like a good idea when you have boxes and boxes of files and you don’t really know what information is in them or, more importantly, which of it is useful.
However, scanning alone will not change the usefulness of a document. To do this you need to add metadata to the digitised records.
So what is metadata?
According to the National Archives of Australia (NAA), “information and records need to be described so that people know what they are about, understand their context and purpose, and can find them easily when they need to”. This descriptive data is called metadata.
It can include such things as title, author, date created or received, subject matter, format and history of use.
“It allows users to control, manage, find, and preserve important information over time…Without metadata, information and records have no context, making them difficult to find, retrieve and use,” the NAA states.
However, despite its apparent usefulness, not all companies attach metadata to their records. Canon recently undertook a survey of records managers and other executives responsible for document management processes and found that 40 per cent said that their company does not capture metadata. Additionally, a high number of respondents (13%) specified that they do not know if metadata is part of their company’s recordkeeping requirements.
Fortunately, for companies who scan their records with Grace Information Management, we ensure all documents are easily traceable and able to be identified. Working with your company, we will devise a range of keywords and metadata to ensure you get maximum value out of our scanned documents.