The Covid-19 pandemic that rocked the world in 2020, and was first detected in November 2019, has been an unprecedented crisis. It may be hard to see the connection, but high-tech data entry services and related outsourcing solutions have been quite valuable in this situation.
While the vaccination drive is happening on a global scale, a new strain of the virus has been reported. So, we aren’t out of the woods yet. While the pandemic has affected the functioning and the market opportunities of businesses adversely, it has also opened up new opportunities to lend value to customers through their services. Services that involve helping people overcome the crisis have seen increased demand, and we have seen organizations tap into that opportunity.
How the Pandemic Showed the Importance of Technology
It has been well documented how the pandemic has put the focus on leveraging technology to run remote workplaces. The danger of the virus spreading has resulted in employees working remotely, interacting with employers and departments through video conferencing as well as engaging clients. That put cloud data management in the minds of many businesses.
Documenting and preserving data has become really important, and outsourced services have helped in this. From a humanitarian perspective too, social and governmental organizations have realized the importance of preserving data to help posterity deal with pandemics and other crises.
Why Digital Data Preservation Is Essential
Steps are being taken to deal with the virus, and doctors, healthcare workers, relief teams, government personnel, police and the general public have done remarkably well to keep the world going around. These steps need to be documented so we can deal with a future crisis. This is important not only from the state or national governance point of view, but also in terms of how individual organizations deal with the disaster. That’s where digital preservation comes in.
The idea of data preservation has emerged as the result of the need to set a benchmark or a model that can be followed later. While some data needs to be made accessible to the public, particularly for governmental and social service organizations, businesses need to secure the data through password and encryption to ensure only authorized personnel access it.
Aspects of Data Preservation to Remember
Research organizations particularly have data access and preservation as a responsibility shared across their various departments. There are technologies to consider, the staff to handle the data collection and preservation, the resources required, the policies to adhere to, and the processes to follow. Research data must be managed actively, which ensures their long-term value isn’t compromised. The data must have the potential to be reused for future situations.
As per the International Federation of Data Organizations for Social Science, there are three major areas for institutions to think of when dealing with data preservation – the infrastructure of the organization, technological feasibility and strategies, and data curation.
Examples of Data Preservation
Recording Authorities’ Response to the Pandemic
The Rhode Island State Archives has been focused on recording how the government responded to the pandemic. For this, the organization collected press releases, preparation plans, court orders, state agency policies, and public correspondences. They also collected web pages addressing issues related to the pandemic. The public now also has quicker access to these records.
Recording the Change in Functioning
At Network Rail, the Covid-19 initiative was powered by some important drivers. The functioning of the British organization changed significantly since the pandemic began. It offers a national service, and a critical one at that. It provides train services for workers involved in offering care and other services during the pandemic. It also increases its freight traffic for supplying food, medical supplies and other stuff all through the United Kingdom.
To deal with the extraordinary situation, Network Rail had to plan a new railway timetable and get it published. The usual passenger demand had reduced and, apart from the transportation of medical and relief staff, freight movements had increased for the organization. Every part of this change had to be documented.
Recording Strategy Developments
Lloyds Banking Group focused on recording important strategy developments and major decisions during the pandemic. The values, culture and identity of the business and its workforce were also recorded, and how they dealt with this crisis. There were five areas of data collection the organization focused on – the governance of the organization, the guidance it provided to staff and customers, personal stories of staff, and the societal response generated by the organization particularly in line with its social responsibilities. The group supports domestic abuse victims and its association with Mental Health UK.
With advanced document conversion services offered as part of outsourcing solutions, organizations have much greater flexibility with the data at their disposal.