Why a document management system falls short of a dynamic database
When it comes to managing and communicating specification information, whether web-based or not, document management systems let the side down in five ways.
- A manual or user guide must be completed and approved before it can be published.
- There is considerable potential for duplication and conflict across documents.
- Document-based information is restrictive as it is presented in one pre-determined way.
- There is often inconsistency in presentation and style across document types and between authors.
- Holding large amounts of information in sets of documents created by different authors results in a lack of structure and hierarchy.
Regardless of the document format – PDF, Word, and Excel – the problems with a document-based system remain the same. In more detail, these five issues present a strong case for introducing a dynamic database.
- Specifications are rarely 100% ready for publication
In most cases, a small number of specifications remain outstanding prior to launch. This means that often a manual does not progress from being a draft document. With a dynamic database, a manual can be updated at any point so, most importantly, absence of supporting or additional information should not hold up publication.
- Duplication and conflict make work complicated
Often different types of specifications share common data. In instances where this data has to be reproduced for every manual, identifying which information must be maintained and updated can get complicated and time consuming.
- Fixed layouts don’t allow for flexibility
As information is often presented in a pre-determined format, the user bears the burden of making it consistent, eliminating conflicts and contradictions.
- The presentation can be inconsistent
Documentation can be disjointed because different users (for example, architects and engineers) often compile aspects of specifications. This creates a need for guidelines and templates, creating more work for the document owner.
- A lack of ownership and structure
The most common problem with file-based systems is that no single user has a complete picture of what is contained in them. This resulting lack of ownership causes information conflict, duplication, and areas with data gaps.
How to solve these issues
With a dynamic information management system such as IconSystem these issues are wholly resolved. Information is stored in individual datasets, allowing complete confidence in de-duplication, formatting, and consistency.
Any outstanding information can be published as and when it is ready, there is only one place to amend any one item of data, so replication and duplication is avoided. Plus, automatic formatting is applied to every user’s web browser.
Because the system contains dynamic information, the data source feeds into a number of views consistently. Standard templates ensure consistency of presentation and there is an integral structure for where data is stored. This helps identify where information is missing or lacking.
Of course, holding this information on the internet rather than a local area network, means you and your teams have access to it anytime, anywhere.
For more information on a dynamic system that saves users time, resource, and budget, please call us on +44 (0)1858 468 345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, find out more here