Retain-and-Preserve-Your-Content-Staying-Compliant-in-2015As a financial services company, proper data management is a major factor in your ongoing success. Understanding your data life cycle and the best ways to archive and access information can be critical to your client services activities. Here are seven proven strategies for optimizing your data archiving process and ensuring compliance in the current regulatory environment.

7 Key Strategies for Preserving Your Content and Staying Compliant in 2015

1. Create a Consistent Data Retention Policy

State and federal regulations will play a significant role in determining your firm's information archiving best practices. Establishing a policy that can be applied to various types of data and that can provide solid guidance for your staff members in a wide range of situations can boost productivity and help you maintain compliance throughout your organization.

2. Educate Your Employees

Some of your staff members may have questions regarding the information archiving process. Your training program should include a thorough grounding in the principles and concepts of data storage and retention. Some topics to cover include the following:

  • What is data archiving?
  • How can we implement data archiving best practices into our existing workflows?
  • Who will be in charge of managing compliance issues in the new paradigm?

By offering interactive training sessions to identify employee concerns and to address issues during the implementation of your data retention plan, you can build a solid foundation for success in this critical area of your organization's operations.

3. Centralize Your Storage

If your organization is interested in how to save time and money managing your IT portfolio, one of the fastest and most effective strategies is the centralization of your data in one storage location. Keeping all archival data and current information in one easily accessible storage solution can streamline retrieval of these records when needed and can reduce the costs associated with disparate data storage formats.

4. Analyze the Data Life Cycle

Taking a hard look at your company's data life cycle can often offer added insights into data management from on-boarding through digital shredding at the end of the retention period. Analyzing the path that client records take and the internal use of that data can provide you with a solid foundation on which to base your company's information archiving best practices. As your workflows and processes change, reevaluating the life cycle of data within your company periodically can allow you to adjust your archiving procedures to ensure optimal productivity in the working environment.

5. Make Security a Priority

Secure, redundant data archiving solutions can protect your proprietary information and client data more effectively. Working with an established consulting firm to set up secure cloud storage and access can often ensure the highest degree of protection for vital corporate data and financial information. This can reduce the chance of catastrophic data loss and can ensure easier retrieval of financial records without the risk of unauthorized access to this sensitive information. Security breaches or loss of relevant data can seriously damage your financial firm's reputation. Taking proactive steps to prevent these occurrences is critical to your company's ongoing success.

6. Establish Data Archiving Protocols

Along with your retention policy, establishing best practices for formatting and digital storage of financial data can save you time and effort in retrieving this information later. Many experts recommend archiving data in XML-compatible formats to ensure the greatest interoperability with various platforms and storage setups. By creating a set of procedures that govern the digitization of your data, your financial institution can streamline retrieval and retention for your staff members.

7. Provide a User-Friendly Interface

An often-overlooked aspect of information archival best practices is the need for an intuitive and easy-to-use interface for your staff members. By investing in a data archive platform that provides full reporting capabilities and a search engine that can identify relevant records quickly and conveniently, your institution can streamline the compliance process and can provide information to your clients, your staff members and regulatory officials upon request.

Instituting a set of data archiving best practices for your financial firm can pay off throughout the life of your data and your company. By retaining all records of client interactions for the prescribed amount of time and shredding them digitally at the end of that period, your company can streamline data storage procedures while staying on the right side of state and federal regulations and client service requirements.