FileTrail Tips

Top 3 Data Migration Focus Points

Now is the time to consider migrating out of your old and outdated records management systems into a modern and efficient information management solution. Upgrading your systems will improve productivity, minimize risks and reassess security needs.

Choosing a new solution may be a challenge depending on budget, usability, and security requirement. Another challenge may be old legacy data or simply the hassle of migration when you’re talking millions of records. Before you take your next step, let’s focus on the top 3 data migration focus points your information team should understand well.

It's fair to ask how difficult a data migration for your entire organization might be. Without proper understanding, mistakes that could be easily avoided will leave your organization with improperly secured data. Don’t drop into these pitfalls. These mistakes cost an enormous amount of time and money to repair. Let’s check out the 3 focus points below. Become acquainted and look forward to your next data migration.

Involve Users at Every Stage

Organizations are all about sharing and warehousing data. This involves a lot of consolidation from different systems securing different forms of information. When migrating data from one system to another, you need to involve everyone who might be affected by it. Allow your end-users to take an active role in the organization and migration of data into the new system. This will ensure a more functional structure or a mirrored structure that’s easy for current users to adopt.

Research Old and New System for Legacy Data Migration

Legacy data is a pain but somethings that’s your luck of the draw. The data in the legacy system needs to be migrated. Spend some time and research your current legacy system and see how compatible it may be with newer systems. Considering legacy systems are either outdated or unsupported, you may have poor quality data that even the best migration specialist won’t be able to fix. This is where the research really counts. You might be able to find a better fit solution for migration or understand ahead of time, saving you a headache or two, that some of that data may not be worth migrating.

Test and Validate Data Before Migration

Waiting until after migration to test and validate data is a disaster waiting to happen. Testing and validation should be done before migration. During the pre-migration stage, your organization should ask questions that assess and evaluate the quality of data currently in your system. Make sure to clean up this data before migration. Dirty data would make any management system defunct.


Taxonomy and User Experience

“Integrate the taxonomy DIRECTLY into the user experience.”- John Mancini, AIIM President and CEO

On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rate your organization skill?

This seems to be one of those questions that most employers ask when looking to hire a new associate; I’m sure most of you remember responding to this question at least once. Unless we’re asked, we tend not to think about it. This is the same for taxonomy. It’s not often we think about taxonomy in our daily lives, but that’s simply due to how well organized our lives actually are, even if you yourself aren’t the most organized person.

Organization of one’s information should begin with taxonomy in mind to make information management simpler. Take for example, Ikea. It’s an enormous warehouse style retailer, full of every home good you may possibly need or want and somehow, you’re able to find exactly what you’re looking for. This user experience is due to the implementation of taxonomy.

I’d like to share an article that’s almost a year old, but is still very relevant. As this new year is now moving forward in full gear, it’s time to take a look into how well organized our information might be and how that may be affecting our work. 

Find the AIIM article, ‘3 Things an IKEA dresser can teach us about Content Management,” written by Mancini, here.

Here are Mancini’s quick tips:

1. Make your taxonomy as complicated as is necessary to get the job done, and not one bit more.

2. Integrate the taxonomy directly into the user and employee experience.

3.You don’t need to limit your organization to just one repository, but you do need to have a strategy.

Mancini states that the true key to Ikea’s success is that, “There is a method and a structure to the madness that allows people to navigate this incredible inventory of ‘stuff’ on their own and with a minimum of supervision, find exactly what they need, load it onto flatbed carts, and move on beyond the cash registers.”

The user experience has been streamlined and made positive due to the organization’s understanding and application of taxonomy. The more organized our lives are the less we have to work to find the information or things that we need. That should be the goal, maximize personal productivity with little to no effort, and taxonomy is how we get there. My next trip to Ikea is going to be seen with a new perspective.

How safe is your data?

January 28th was Data Privacy Day and that’s got me thinking. I’m sure we all sometimes wonder how social media apps like Instagram ($715 million) and Snapchat ($16 billion) are valued at insane figures. There’s no mystery behind that. Large companies are purchasing these tech startups for one key purpose: to own the rights to data or information that these startups have generated. Information is lucrative.

As a large enterprise not in the data purchasing industry, managing our own information is a gargantuan task on its own. Whether you’re in legal, life sciences, or the financial industry, information and its proper management is significant to an organizations’ regulation and compliance policies. Since information is a highly profitable resource, knowing how to manage your data is vital to preventing data breaches and unwanted information seizures. Data breaches have caused many litigation lawsuits in recent years: think JP Morgan and Sony Entertainment.

Outside of those examples, the health industry has been a deadly target for cyber hackers. organizations within the health industry understands that client and employee information are meant to be kept extremely private. Not only are these organizations collecting endless bits of data every single day, they are also storing this information in enormous repositories. Why is this a terrifying concept? If information is improperly managed, will the data remain safe?

To prevent litigation and regulation risks, it’s time for organizations to understand that controlling their data and knowing how their information is managed, is the best practice to prevent malicious data leakages. For Data Privacy Day, let’s look into our organization's infrastructure and understand how our information is being managed so that our data can remain safe and private.

Tackle E-Discovery with a Proactive Approach

How to tackle e-discovery with a proactive approach and strategy. How prepared would your company be, if they received an e-discovery request today? For many companies, the practice of disregarding a proper e-discovery plan is far too common. Inefficient e-discovery practices almost always lead to costly expenses, in addition to sanctions or fines that are handed down.

The first step every company should take in a proactive effort to properly prepare an e-discovery strategy, is to familiarize themselves with the Electronic Discovery Reference Model or EDRM diagram. states, “The EDRM diagram represents a conceptual view of the e-discovery process, not a literal, linear or waterfall model. One may engage in some but not all of the steps outlined in the diagram, or one may elect to carry out the steps in a different order than shown here.”

Taken directly from their website, lists the stages of the EDRM diagram as follows: Information Governance – Getting your electronic house in order to mitigate risk & expenses should e-discovery become an issue, from initial creation of electronically stored information (ESI) through its final disposition.

  • Identification – Locating potential sources of ESI & determining its scope, breadth & depth.
  • Preservation and Collection – Ensuring that ESI is protected against inappropriate alteration or destruction. Gathering ESI for further use in the e-discovery process (processing, review, etc.).
  • Processing, Review, and Analysis – Reducing the volume of ESI and converting it, if necessary, to forms more suitable for review & analysis. Evaluating ESI for relevance & privilege. Evaluating ESI for content & context, including key patterns, topics, people & discussion.
  • Production – Delivering ESI to others in appropriate forms & using appropriate delivery mechanisms.
  • Presentation – Displaying ESI before audiences (at depositions, hearings, trials, etc.), especially in native & near-native forms, to elicit further information, validate existing facts or positions, or persuade an audience.Preparation remains key for companies that want to proactively handle e-discovery. Ensuring you have the necessary practices and procedures in place, is the first step every company should take in order to be e-discovery ready. The risks far outweigh the benefits of avoiding a proper e-discovery strategy, so start familiarizing yourself with the EDRM stages today!

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.