3 Policy Tips Academic Institutions can use to Manage their Data

What considerations should your institution take when developing policies that will help with record management and document security

college students looking at data on mobile devicesIf you work at a college or within a department, it may be standard procedure to keep media and legacy records on storage drives in an office cabinet or desk drawer. This method invites the potential of lost or damaged data that is vital to the organization and its students.

Academic institutions should consider implementing a records management solution that complies with legal and regulatory requirements while making it easier to access when necessary. Increasing regulations and legislation from the state and federal level have ensured that documents retention policies are not optional.

Here are three tips that academic institutions can use to manage their data.

Planning 

Implementing an operational, customizable records policy may have some pushback from certain departments or schools, but avoiding doing so has far worse potential implications. Implementation of a new system uses a top-down approach with senior leadership announcing the rollout in phases with proper training going to departments and users involved in the process. 

Retaining documents needs to be backed by a solid strategy to reduce risks.

Identifying 

Before implementation, it would be best to identify the formats of incoming data. For example, an admissions application uses two versions that can be submitted via email or paper format using standard mail delivery service. After sorting out the various incoming paper documents, place them in storage containers in a safe, secure location with limited access.

Storage

For additional security, consider storing legacy files offsite with a records management company that has the knowledge and experience to make sure your documents are safe and accessible when you need them.  Working with a records management company helps if the academic institution is located in areas that experience severe weather occurrences. Organizations can schedule dates for regular pickup of records from a secure storage offsite.

There may be push back with an integration of new processes by end users, but encouragement and explaining the benefits of a records management system that is used campus-wide can help remove barriers and encourage communication internally.

For more information on how to implement or manage records management solutions, contact a regional Crown Records Management office today.