Digitisation process involves scanning of documents and meta tags* entry (data entry) for all the records. These are considered to be a long, tedious and costly processes. This is one of the primary reasons that organisations which generate large volume of documents, find it a nightmare to go digital. But digitisation makes life easy and most organisations will have to adapt to digital environment inorder to grow and match competition. Here are some very minute but important points that should be kept in mind while planning to go digital.
Pre digitisation Steps: – Planning is an important part of the project and its always advisable to estimate the volume of work and define the processes in advance to avoid mistake and save time.
Discuss and involve all possible stakeholders of the organisation.
Analyse and find the approximate volume of documents to digitise.
Different types of scanners are required for different sizes of documents hence it’s important to estimate the volume of documents as per their sizes.
Decide the segregation by which the documents are to be categorised and stored finally (e.g. monthly, yearly, serial number, or any other field).
Make sure the team involved in scanning repairs old and torn documents to avoid further damage.
Make sure that all stapler pins, sticky notes etc. are removed before starting the scanning process.
Best practices for minimising errors in the scanning process: – Scanning process though looks simpler may take longer time than expected if not handles carefully. Key points to note:
Ensure that the scanning team has separate resources allocated for:
Coordinating with the stakeholders at the organisation level for getting documents that are to be digitised.
Ensuring that documents are maintained in the desired order after scanning.
Removing staples, paper clips, sticky notes and categorising documents.
Operating scanning machine and ensuring that the document does not get destroyed while using the ADF scanner.
An approval of all the scanned images should be taken from the respective document owner or the designated person everyday post scanning.
Once all the documents are scanned, stored in the desired order and approved by the authorised person in the organisation, the data entry process begins. It’s again an important process and accuracy of the retrieval of a particular document is highly dependent upon the accuracy of data entry.
The following best practices are recommended for data capturing:
Discuss and finalise a list of all valid fields for data entry which can help to retrieve the documents E.g. File name, Department name, Document date etc.
Once the list is ready, have a relook at the list and start eliminating fields and later keywords that are unnecessary. This will help to avoid overshooting the digitisation budget.
It’s a good practice to use data validation on the data entry fields to avoid mistakes by oversight.
The person doing the data entry should be educated and smart enough to find related and important fields for capturing data.
It always advisable to get the entries checked for errors by a second person.
meta tags* – Meta tags are captured manually with each document. These are keywords or phrases which are specific to that particular document making it easier to find the document.