The disarticulated skeleton shared by plaisanter on Flickr. CC by-SA 2.0
How can records managers support access and provide context in an age where people and systems create and store masses of information that may be related, across many locations? It doesn’t have to be a magic act, but there are some ways to help make it hang together and support the lifecycle management of organisational information.
Records managers have the opportunity to lead and become the experts within their organisations in the use and application of the technologies that can trawl the many places, including the web and social media, to find information, provide context and make it appear together either for the end user or for automated actions – sometimes referred to as ‘actionable analytics’.
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Much of the information stored in the workplace holds some information about who created it automatically stored in its metadata. In Office applications this is usually applied through Active Directory (AD) – the permissions and access tool. What AD often doesn’t know is a person’s job description or title and so over time the names of people associated with your content becomes meaningless.
Organograms (maps that display the structure of an organisation) show us who carries out the organisation’s functions, their formal relationships with others. This can provide a conceptual aid in the classification and discovery of content and data over time.
Using content analytics tools that offer text-mining and machine learning technology (artificial intelligence) we can identify, structure and enrich information, facts and events and enable top-level classification. These tools can support records managers, archivists, historians and social researchers as they explore and discover meaning in our information overload.
Organograms stored as data files (see data.gov.uk/organogram for a good example of this) and maintained over time as a living record of the organisation’s functions and who was responsible for carrying them out, can link these forgotten people to your business’ actual functions.
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