What’s a Record Anyway? Part 1

Not Everything’s a Record.

So, what is a ‘record’ anyway? There is a lot of confusion out there about what constitutes a business record and what you might simply call ‘information’. Now, it’s true that a record is not less than information, but it certainly is a whole lot more as well.

Information is the key ingredient of a record, but a record is, at it’s heart, contextualized information that has been preserved on recording media (electronic or hardcopy) with which it is possible understand business transactions and business practices.

You see, the three ingredients that constitute a business record are:

  1. Information
  2. Context
  3. Recording Media

This seems fairly straight-forward until you take that definition and apply it to, for example, a contract dispute. The ‘record’ of the contract could include: email, voicemail, meeting minutes, memorandums, research, etc. Perhaps some of these things on their own would not constitute a ‘record’, but, taken together, the individual pieces of information form a broad record that provides detailed information about the business transactions and the business practices of the companies in dispute.

This is where records management comes in to help. Through a comprehensive client needs assessment that takes into great account the client’s objectives and goals, we can assist companies in determining record retention schedules, destruction/disposition assignments, storage solutions, electronic migration plans, hardcopy volume reduction campaigns, and how they can adhere to government and industry regulations all with a seamless, organized approach that will prepare your company for the challenges of a new digital economy.

More to come on this topic next time…

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