Documents: Your Information Lifeblood

June 20, 2012
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In business today, data and information are the vital lifeblood for decision making, strategy and ultimately business success. More than ever before data is becoming the DNA of organizations: it drives our communication; it helps trim costs and increase sales. As organizations become more and more data oriented the impact of the ability to aggregate and make sense of the new plethora of data will become ever important. The area of Big Data is upon is and the trend will not stop.

In business today, data and information are the vital lifeblood for decision making, strategy and ultimately business success. More than ever before data is becoming the DNA of organizations: it drives our communication; it helps trim costs and increase sales. As organizations become more and more data oriented the impact of the ability to aggregate and make sense of the new plethora of data will become ever important. The area of Big Data is upon is and the trend will not stop.

One of the leading sources of new data will come from what organizations already have internally, their documents including paper, electronic communications, images rich media and more. The impact of document related data analysis will be huge in coming years because of its wide range across fields like science, sports, advertising and healthcaBig Data Infographicre which are heavily integrating data-driven foundations.

Gary King, director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science says “It’s a revolution. We’re really just getting under way. But the march of quantification, made possible by enormous new sources of data, will sweep through academia, business and government. There is no area that is going to be untouched.”

Over the next decade, comprehensive document management systems will be key differentiators in organizations that are leaders in their space as well as organizations that aspire to become their market leaders. As a result of their impact in various areas document management will increase its impact on organizations because of the vital area’s they contribute to.

Compliance and Data

For companies that are required to comply with ISO, OSHA and regulatory compliance policies (Medicare/Medicaid), document data is critical.  For example, Medicare requires a script, a letter of medical justification signed by a physician and a patient signed delivery ticket before a respiratory provider can bill for services.  The sequence of signature dates, date of service initiated and the signatures themselves are critical.   Medicare generally audits participating provider medical records annually.  If the data is missing, or the medical file can’t be found, the provider may be subject to significant fines or incarceration. 

Most companies will set up internal compliance controls to monitor documents and data routinely to avoid such circumstances.  Many companies still use offsite storage to manage historical yet active documents.  The use of document management systems not only eliminates the need for cost ineffective storage, but also serves to be an efficient means of archiving and retrieving data. Detailed tracking within the compliance realm will be vital to reducing costs and time savers for every step in document driven processes.

Collaboration & Teamwork

One of the largest areas of inefficiency and highly prone to errors are tied to the manual workflow associated with collaborative work. While document management solutions help to automate these they also can provide vital intel into the weakest links in these workflow chains. Increases in the collaborative process driven by data obtained from a document management system will be huge in increasing profitability.

Are you ready?

The discovery of these previously unrecognized patterns in every business process will separate the leaders from the followers and potentially those businesses that will thrive and those that will die. The question is, is your organization setup to do this? Your business/organizationally gained knowledge can be the one thing that a competitor cannot copy or take from you. The knowledge of how your business functions, knowledge of how your previous decisions have impacted your bottom line, and the knowledge of who works for you can be invaluable assets. By combining data mining techniques to your existing document data, you can make sure that you have every scrap of knowledge available to you to make the best possible decisions.