Storing information is when you file or put away the information that you have obtained. Systems for this involve either being put into a cabinet or saved onto a hard drive. Retrieving is when you regain that information that you have stored away to use for matters that you need it for.
These both contribute significantly in ensuring the company works as well as it possibly can and allows things to be done time effectively allowing little/no time for confusion to get in the way.
Information is stored away to essentially just make work easier. Obviously, businesses have to do it but by doing so means retrieval of information becomes quicker than if it’s just placed anywhere with no systematic approach. Usually, when procedures are followed, files etc are stored away in cabinets in alphabetical order of the last name and therefore means when going back to look for a file it is easily located. Again, if information is stored on a computer or memory stick, there are different folders to allocate what you’re looking for. For example, at Parkinson Wright for our department of wills and probate, we have a wills and probate folder. Within the folder are also more folders that take you to different aspects of the department. So, if you’re looking for a new client and want to see what information you already have about them you find the folder with their name on it and within it will be any documents we have about them. And, as a company as a whole we have a system called ‘Legal Enterprise’ which is where all private and confidential information about all clients are stored under their name and/ or client number. Because of the data protection act, companies and businesses have to make sure files are stored following all the confidentiality procedures in order to provide the service that is promised to be offered.
Whereas information storing is done to make the businesses life easier and to keep the business running smoothly. The retrieval of information is done in order to provide clients with the best service that can be given. This is because, once its stored away we are aware of where it all is, which means that when the information is required, our procedures mean we can have it to hand quickly or look on the system to find anything out that we need. Information retrieval isn’t always just for clients, it can be done for surveys, for purposes of marketing and also if any other companies may need any information.
Legal requirements for information security and retention is that companies will retain your personal information for as long as required, making sure it’s kept in a secure place away from any chance of it being stolen or misplaced. Once they don’t need it anymore, they will dispose of it in a secure way making sure no information is able to be misused or end up in the hands of the wrong people. This is done to make sure the data protection act is followed correctly and minimises the chances of the company from getting into any sort of legal trouble.
The organisational requirements are, in a way, the way in which you go about the legal requirements. They are the strategic procedure in which you do and deal with things. So, making sure information is stored correctly and securely out the way of any third parties. Making sure that when out of date or no longer needed, it is either archived or deleted correctly and off the systems/ out of storage. By doing all of this correctly means that all of the legal requirements will be met.
There are two types of paper filing systems usually used in an office based environment. Vertical filing and Lateral filing. To have an effective system set up for storing and retrieving information helps save time and gives you a more structured set out keeping the business more organised. Vertical filing usually involves cabinets. Files are put away into cabinets, usually in alphabetical order from A-Z, and is the one of the two system that is more likely to be used. Lateral filing is more adding files, again usually into alphabetical order, on the side of a file that usually has tabs sticking out with the letter of each compartment. Whilst Lateral filing is likely to take up less space as there isn’t the need for drawers, Vertical filing is more systematic and makes it easier and quicker to find what you’re looking for.
When trying to locate where information is, hopefully if following everything talked about before – such as effective filing systems and following systems and procedures correctly then when going to find information it should be easy because you know to look in alphabetical order of the surname. And again, if information is stored on the computer, by just having the client name or number then again information can easily be located and retrieved. This easy and quick access allows the business to run smoother and more time effectively giving a good image and sense of professionalism.
One of the problems that could occur when retrieving information that has been stored physically is that you might not be able to find the file. This could be because it has been misfiled. For example, it may have been put into the wrong cabinet or the wrong section of the right cabinet. This could happen because the name may be double barrelled and placed into the wrong letter of the alphabet depending on how the certain individual decides to place it by the start of either of the names. If this happened, the best way to get around it would to just ask if anyone had seen it recently and get all offices to search for it in case it has been sent somewhere else. However, in order to stop this from happening, staff should follow the systems and procedures set by the business so that files don’t get misplaced or lost.
Another problem with physical storing is that they could be damaged in the event of something like a flood or a fire. However, offices are supposed to have fireproof cabinets in order to minimise the likelihood of something like this affecting the information that is stored.
On the other hand, information can be stored electronically. The bonus about this is that the information is easily found and can’t be misplaced, as such. However, the problem with storing things electronically is that it can be corrupted by viruses. This means that if a virus is caught it can attack files and potentially make it impossible to access or retrieve them. This can be prevented by making sure all computers have firewalls and are all up to date with anti-virus apps and updates which allows us to be are when emails or websites are unsafe.