On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Boston Women in Finance gathered members and friends for “Curation: The Art of Selection, Collection and Organization of Information.” Our speakers included:
- Natasha Espada, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate Principal, Leers Weinzapfel
- Amanda Garces, Senior Interactive Producer, Genuine Interactive
- Veronica Martzahl, Electronic Records Achivist, Massachusetts State Archives
Generations Treat Information Differently
The panel agreed that there is a generational divide in how information is managed. For example, older generations may ‘hoard’ information, printing out emails, saving multiple versions of files from projects long completed, etc., while younger generations can delete the information almost instantaneously.
This bifurcated approach is easily overcome through clear information management policies.
Keeping Information Too Long Can Hurt You
While there is certain information that you are required to keep on hand for a specified amount of time (i.e. business filings, contracts), there are other pieces of information that may in fact hurt you in the long run.
For example, in the case of civil litigation or government investigations, any information that was exchanged in electronic format, such as emails, are included in electronic discovery requests. Therefore, what your ‘hoarder’ employees have been keeping on file for years may in fact harm you in the long run.
KISS Organization Methods
We’ve all been there – what was once a clearly organized and sensible electronic filing system no longer makes sense to anyone.
The panel advised to keep your organization simple, including clear file naming conventions, easy folder architectures, and if you have a content management system (CMS), easy-to-understand tagging practices that can help your information be found quickly and easily.
Technology Is Not Forever
Just as paper degrades and decays, so too does technology.
The panel advised that if you are storing your information digitally, to be sure to continually upgrade your file formats and practices to the newest ones available. After all, the Excel version you used to create your spreadsheet may not be available or workable in 5-10 years.
Further, know that the media that you store your information on, such as CDs, have a shelf life too. (Anyone remember floppy disks?) Ideally, you should have your information backed up on multiple media types, including CD, hard drives (stored offsite, of course), and even in the cloud.
If storing information digitally, be sure to continually upgrade your file formats and practices to the newest ones available. Pay attention to what media you have, and whether or not it will last. For example, even CDs will degrade after 7 years of initial use.
Register For Our Next Program!
Join us for our next event on Thursday, February 13, 2014, on “The Habits of Highly Successful Financial Executives,” where we will explore the technical requirements, character essentials and skill sets necessary of high achieving financial executives.
To learn more, or to register, simply click the button below!