Artificial Intelligence (AI) is storming its way around the world with various models. However, here at filerskeepers, we think that not all is as well as it should be. There are many arguments for what it can do for Records Management, but what about doing Records Management before AI?

In the modern era of digital being the preferred method of processing, organizations are swimming in a sea of data. AI stands out as a powerful tool for organizations aiming to enhance efficiency, unlock insights, and innovate. Yet, before organizations can fully harness the potential of it, they must first lay a sturdy foundation: comprehensive records management. In this blog post, we delve into why effective records management serves as the essential precursor to successful AI integration.

But what is AI?

Before we delve deeply into AI, we need to understand what it is. It reminds me of people trying to understand what ‘the cloud’ actually is. So…

AI is a super-smart tool that can help us deal with complicated data. It uses fancy technologies like machine learning (which helps computers learn from data). It also uses natural language processing (which helps computers understand human language), and robotic process automation (which helps computers do repetitive tasks automatically).

We can make our lives easier by letting computers do the boring, repetitive stuff for us. Computers can also help us make sense of messy data that doesn’t have a clear structure. Emails or social media posts are a good example of this. Plus, it can even help us make better decisions by analyzing all this data and finding important patterns or trends.

But here’s the catch: for AI to work its magic, it needs good-quality data to learn from. If the data is messy, incomplete, or just plain wrong, AI won’t be able to give us reliable results. So, before we can use AI effectively, we need to make sure our data is in good shape and well-organized. That way, it can help us solve problems and make smarter decisions based on solid information.

The Challenges of Data Overload:

In today’s data-driven world, organizations have various sources of information, including emails, documents, and databases, not to mention all the data out there on the World Wide Web. Managing this vast volume of data manually is impractical and error-prone, leading to inefficiencies, inaccuracies, and compliance risks. As the volume and complexity of data continue to grow, the need for managing it becomes greater. Unstructured data is the worst kind of data for an organisation and this is where Artificial Intelligence can help but it comes with a lot of issues.

The Promise of AI:

AI holds the promise of revolutionizing records management by extracting insights from unstructured data and improving decision-making processes. Machine learning algorithms can analyze large datasets to identify patterns, trends, and anomalies, enabling organizations to make data-driven decisions more efficiently and accurately.

Comprehensive Records Management:

However, the successful implementation of AI hinges on the existence of a robust records management framework. Without well-organized, accurate, and accessible records, AI algorithms may produce unreliable results, perpetuate biases, or fail to comply with regulations. Moreover, AI systems require large volumes of high-quality data to train and operate effectively, highlighting the importance of sound records management practices for data governance and integrity.

Mitigating Risks and Maximizing Benefits: 

Organizations must adopt a strategic approach to harness the benefits of AI while mitigating associated risks and:

  • Develop and implement policies, procedures, and tools for managing records effectively throughout their lifecycle.
  • Ensure that records are accurate, complete, and reliable, with mechanisms in place for data validation and verification.
  • Ensuring records which have passed their retention date are removed
  • Audit systems and receptacles to ensure staff are following correct policies and procedures
  • Giving staff appropriate records management training
  • Automating the boring tasks to prevent staff from making mistakes
  • Review all mediums for ROT – Redundant, Obsolete and Transient information.

Microsoft CoPilot

It’s no surprise that Microsoft has jumped on the AI bandwagon. Microsoft is prevalent in the EDRMS / collaboration field, however many organisations have issues managing their records within SharePoint, and Information Governance and security issues with Delve. You can see how this can escalate.

“Copilot is a conversational chat interface that lets you search for specific information, generate text such as emails and summaries, and create images based on text prompts you write. For example, if you type in, “Summarize this memo in two sentences,” Copilot will do just that by giving you a concise written summary in the chat interface below your request.”

Business and Enterprise Microsoft 365 customers can get Copilot for Microsoft 365 ($30 per person per month), which lets them use Copilot to get answers and suggestions based on company data, information and records. This sounds great but we’re hearing of organizations delaying the implementation of this tool because their records are just not in good shape.

It’s very easy to delay implementation, so if you’re reading this and realizing that you don’t have good records management in place for your organization, it is not too late to postpone implementation.

If the data is of poor quality, then the artificial intelligence will be of similar quality because whatever data you put in, is the answers that you will get out.

Conclusion

While AI offers immense potential to transform how we work today, organizations must prioritize the establishment of robust records management practices as a prerequisite. By investing in comprehensive records management, organizations can lay the groundwork for successful AI implementation, unlocking the full potential of artificial intelligence.

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