When managing organisational data and records within your business, two terms are bound to come up – records management and information management
Did you know that information is made up of data and records are made up of information? When you’re capturing data you are creating information which is then used in records. When managing organisational information and records within a business, it’s important to understand the difference between these organisational concepts. This way, you can effectively manage, protect and use data within your organisation.
In this article, we’ll explore the distinction between records management and information management, along with their significance toy your business.
What is records management?
Records management deals with the control, organisation and governance of records throughout their lifecycle from creation to disposal. In a business, records typically contain legal, historical, administrative, or financial information. Some of these records could include meeting minutes, regulatory documents, contracts or invoices.
Effective records management helps your business to create policies, procedures, and guidelines when producing, classifying, securing, retrieving, and disposing of information. Legal requirements will also come into records management, helping to determine when records can be lawfully disposed of.
What is information management?
The primary goal of information management is to optimise the use and value of information assets to support decision-making, business processes, and organisational goals.
Activities involved in information management span from data analytics to information governance. Information management ensures that information is accurate, relevant, timely, and easily accessible to authorised individuals securely across the organisation.
Good information management means a business relies on its information to make important decisions, improve business processes and develop targets.
Why is records management and information management important for your business?
Developing a solid understanding of the difference between records management and information management is crucial for the secure and optimised functioning of your business. Benefits include cost savings and space efficiency that improve collaboration and communication.
Notable differences between records management and information management include their application and focus. Records management deals with the lifecycle management of official records, making sure they are correctly handled and disposed of securely. Information management is focused on maximising the value and usability of information assets, enabling effective decision-making and improving business processes.
Benefits of good records management:
- Compliance: records management makes it easier for your business to comply with legal, regulatory and industry standards and requirements. Data protection obligations, document disposal guidelines and other relevant laws are made simple.
- Document retrieval: a well-organised records management system makes it faster to access the information or data your business needs in a timely fashion and therefore cost-effective to the business.
- Collaboration: well-managed records optimise and drastically improve communication and collaboration among employees.
- Cost savings: records management significantly reduces costs associated with physically storing, printing, or handling records.
- Efficiency: effective records management provides businesses with key advantages such as enhanced decision-making and easier knowledge transfer.
- Risk management: when records are correctly managed, it allows for your workforce to be prepared with backup copies of records. This allows any business to be ready for unpredictable events including data breaches and system failures.
Benefits of good information management:
- Decision-making: properly managing and ensuring the ready accessibility of information optimises the decision-making process across an organisation.
- Efficiency: when information is easily accessible and organised for employees, it significantly improves and streamlines workflows.
- Collaboration: readily accessible information simplifies the process of working with other employees.
- Cost savings: streamlined processes and optimised resources with well-structured information lead to significant cost reductions.
- Risk management: effectively managing information helps businesses avoid unwanted privacy breaches.
- Continuity: data backup and disaster plans ensure that your organisational data is utilised in the event of any unexpected occurrence.
Optimising records and information management
Records and information management are two key processes crucial for the optimal functioning of businesses looking to maximise their activity. In an age of increasing data security challenges, managing your digital information and records intelligently is essential.
At Crown, we help businesses align their processes within the digital landscape. We provide a full suite of digital information management services, ranging from data collection, classification, and workflow automation to data preservation.
Learn more about the records management and information management solutions we offer by contacting Antony Biondi, our Head of ECM.