Build Your Own Data with Integrity

What is data with integrity?

You may be hearing all day long about the issue of dirty data. There’s even a hashtag (#dirtydata) in use because the term is so common. The big and scary shadow that looms over dirty data is something to be afraid of, especially if you're a law firm migrating your physical records into the cloud. In conjunction with dirty data, we often hear about best practices and what it takes to clean up dirty data. What we don't hear about, however, is data with integrity. But data with integrity is what we need to continue to stay out of the dirty data smog.

To help us out, the ever so resourceful Wikipedia is here to clear up some things.

According to wiki, “data integrity refers to maintaining and assuring the accuracy and consistency of data over it’s entire life-cycle. It is a critical aspect to the design, implementation, and usage of any system which stores, processes, or retrieves data.”

What does it take to have data with integrity and how can we wrap this idea around a general understanding? Data is integral to our digital foundation and we all want firm ground to build upon and grow from. If digital data were ingredients within a successful meal, we would need ingredients with integrity. Who does this more transparently than Chipotle?

As the clock hits 1pm, you’re already two minutes into packing up your things to grab lunch, walking through your firm and picking up George on the way out. What do you want to eat? It’s important for most people to eat foods that keep them working efficiently. If you have a Chipotle within walking distance, that’s probably where you and George are heading. How did I know that, you say?

Chipotle has been a cultural phenomenon in the fast food market. Separating themselves from other fast food chains, Chipotle represents themselves as “food with integrity.” This claim is defended by information that Chipotle has provided in which their ingredient sourcing is transparent to consumers.

Chipotle states that, from the beginning, they’re, “committed because [they] understand the connection between how food is raised and prepared and how it tastes.” But what does this mean for you?

Dirty data can be seen as poor quality ingredients that you may not want to build your burrito bowl with, let alone the foundation of your organization’s workflow. With a few simple steps, transform your physical records into data with integrity before you send it off into the cloud. Start owning your data the same way Chipotle owns their ingredients.

Here are 4 Simple Steps that any law firm migrating their physical records into a new ECM needs to do to ensure that their data has integrity.

  1. ReviewNow is the time to look at those files and make sure that the information is correct. You don’t want to be fixing  issues once data is already floating in the cloud and your full text search isn’t giving you desired results. It’s time to grab a red marker and go to town.
  2. Make Changes Changes need to be done now. There’s no other way around this. This step is tedious but necessary for integrity. Imagine if your client’s name was one letter off and their matter data couldn’t be located. You don’t want to deal with this within time constraints. Trust us.
  3. Re-organize Is your classification scheme and taxonomy working for you as your migrate your physical records into the cloud? You’ll need flexibility, so start from the basics and build out.
  4. Set Retention & Disposition Research and implement retention schedules so that your data disposition is legally defensible. Simultaneously clean your physical records while protecting them as they migrate into the cloud as fully formed, data with integrity.

Chipotle assures their consumers that, if they eat at Chipotle, they will enjoy a tasty meal, without harming their bodies because their food has integrity. This integrity down to the ingredients, will help you perform better, not worse, as you head back to work. This is how you should care for your data management system. Feed your ECM with data that has integrity and watch it perform better for you as you work.