Understand How to Manage Elecronic and Paper Based Information Essay

Unit three: Principles of managing information and producing documents Assessment You should use this file to complete your Assessment - Understand How to Manage Elecronic and Paper Based Information Essay introduction. * The first thing you need to do is save a copy of this document, either onto your computer or a disk * Then work through your Assessment, remembering to save your work regularly * When you’ve finished, print out a copy to keep for reference * Then, go to www. vision2learn. com and send your completed Assessment to your tutor via your My Study area – make sure it is clearly marked with your name, the course title and the Unit and Assessment number.

Please note that this Assessment document has 5 pages and is made up of 4 Sections. ————————————————- Name: Natalie Fitch Section 1 – Understand the purpose of information technology in a business environment 1. In relation to your current business environment (or one that you are familiar with), identify at least two different types of information technology that may be used when completing work tasks. In the business environment that I work in the different types of IT that we use on a daily basis include:- * Word Processing * Spreadsheets Databases * Emailing And * Mobile Information Technology 2. What are the benefits to businesses (and others) of using information technology for doing work tasks? There are many benefits of using Information Technology (IT) for doing work tasks. These benefits include:- * Speed – admin tasks can be completed quickly * Flexibility – you can amend and correct documents swiftly and efficiently. You don’t need to re-start from scratch. * Quality – the quality is better as you can use spell checker and templates. Templates enable documents to be professional looking.

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Using IT can enable the documents to have changes made to the layout. * Efficiency and Effectiveness – can result in a business being more efficient, more organised and more productive. Using IT brings a lot of benefits to the business, which include:- * Being more productive * Being more responsive * Being more efficient Section 2 – Understand how to manage electronic and paper-based information 1. Explain the purpose of agreeing objectives and deadlines when researching information. If possible, refer to specific examples from research tasks you have worked on to support your answer.

It is 2. Identify the different ways of researching, organising and reporting information. There are many ways in which you can research, organise and report information. When carrying out research there are certain things that need to be carried out beforehand. These include:- * Use documents efficiently * Read any relevant information carefully * Source the correct document * Find out how the information should be presented * Confirm that the document is up to date * Make sure the researcher knows what they’re looking for Before the esearch is given to the recipient, there are things that need to be established. These are:- * Types of information required * Why it is required * When it is required * The recipient and what they know already. When you are carrying out the research, it is important that the information that is being collected is kept in an organised fashion. The information should be kept in clearly marked files. The information should be kept in an order that will make it easy to use when the information is passed on to the recipient. Information can be arranged in several ways such as alphabetically or numerically.

It helps to have in mind how the information is going to be reported. 3a) For your own organisation (or one you know well), describe the procedures that need to be followed when archiving, retrieving and deleting information. Your answer should cover procedures for both electronic and paper-based information. In all businesses information needs to be stored in the correct place. It also has to be kept safely and maintained in good condition. This means that papers should be placed securely in folders and stored in good-quality, lockable cabinets.

Electronic systems need to be backed up daily and the backup tapes or disks should ideally be kept off the premises for extra security and protection. There must be procedures to regulate which documents can be retrieved and by whom. Some may be confidential so that access to them must be restricted. In a manual system, users also need to check which documents/folders have been borrowed from the system in case they also need that information urgently. In a well-organised system, paper files need to be routinely cleared. Information that isn’t of any use may be thrown away, but most documents will be archived.

This means they are kept safely but away from the main working area. In the organisation where I work the loft is for keeping archives. If we never archived things, then the business I work for would be using more and more valuable space for storage and would have to expand continually to store all the information we have retained. Archiving is rather different in an electronic system. 3b) When following the procedures outlined in Question 3a above, are there any legal requirements to consider? When following the procedures for archiving, retrieving and deleting there are some legal requirements you need to consider.

These are: * The Data Protection Act 1998 – this is the main act that regulates the activities of all organisations storing data on individuals. * Retention Period – this relates to the length of time records may be held. There are specific legal requirements relating to some types of document. With many types of records this is in case of any legal claims that may be made against the business, such as someone claiming that they were discriminated against at an interview. Businesses usually have specific retention policies to ensure these requirements are met. Industry –specific Legislation – some businesses may have to comply with additional legislation relating to their own type of industry and/or records held. * Electronic documents as legal evidence – there have been concerns that documents stored in an electronic system may not be allowed as evidence in a court case because they might have been altered or amended at some stage. To help prevent these problems, the British Standards Institute (BSI) has produced a code for organisations that explains the steps they must take to process electronic information so they are adopting ‘best practice’. Organisational policies and procedures – businesses/organisations cannot assume that their staff will know the legal requirements affecting information they handle. They must therefore devise policies and procedures that control access to confidential information. There should also be strict procedures for the disposal of confidential information. There is no point in protecting sensitive information when it’s active and then just throwing it away in the bin once it isn’t.

In addition to procedures to cover the shredding of paper files, guidance should also be given on how electronic media such as CD-ROMs that contain confidential documents are destroyed. 4. Why is confidentiality critical when managing information? Confidentiality is very, very important when managing information. Often businesses keep a lot of information, in which some of the information is confidential or sensitive. This means it cannot be viewed or accessed by everyone working in the business and access to such information should be strictly limited and secure.

There are several reasons why information can be confidential and include:- * It may include personal details about staff that they would not wish other people to know. * It could be about new product developments or include lists of customers, both of which will/would interest competitors. * It could refer to possible internal plans that have not yet been agreed. * It could relate to financial information or employee negotiations that would result in unfavourable publicity for the organisation if it were given to the media. * It could include passwords or access codes that would be invaluable to a hacker or thief.

It could be a combination of these. For example, if sensitive talks on a possible sale of the business were leaked to the press there might be banner headlines about possible redundancies, which would be awful for the staff and may even be totally untrue. For these reasons a variety of security measures are used to protect important or confidential information. These will vary, depending on whether the information is held on computer or on paper (hard) copy. Section 3 – Understand the purpose of producing documents that are fit for purpose 1. Identify at least two reasons for producing documents that are fit for purpose.

When a business produces documents it is important / essential they are fit for purpose. This is because information in documents can make a huge / significant contribution to both the effectiveness and the efficiency of a business. If documents are incorrect in any way this can have an adverse effect on the business. It is for this reason why it is important to get things correct and why the fitness–for-purpose is applied. 2. Use the table below to describe some of the different types and styles of documents that are produced in a business environment, and then explain when these different options may be used.

Documents| When they are used| Business Letter| * Very formal * A permanent written document * Weak if large amounts of info is being delivered * External recipients| Text| * Immediate * Suited best for small bits of information * Internal or External| Formal / Informal Report| * External and Internal * To give a clear account of things * To present more complex and linked information| E-mail| * Internal or External * Documents can be attached to these * Can be sent instantly worldwide| Section 4 – Know the procedures to be followed when producing documents 1.

In most organisations, time is taken to agree the purpose, content, layout, quality standards and deadlines for the production of documents. What are the reasons for doing this level of planning? When producing documents it is very important that you agree the purpose, content, layout, quality standards and deadlines with colleagues. If you don’t do this you can be faced with many problems. When producing documents it is very important that you know exactly what the customer is after. You need to decide on the content – this is what is included in the document and what is needed to get things done.

Agreeing on an easy / clear layout is important as this will enable the customer to readily access the information they require in the document. All information included in a document is presented in logical steps. Agreeing on the quality standards of a document can include things such as the number of words and spelling accuracy. It is especially important to agree on deadlines and this way the customer can make certain arrangements knowing the document will be ready. It also aids efficient use of time and resources. 2. Businesses will spend time checking finished documents for accuracy and correctness. ) How is this done? Businesses will check finished documents for accuracy and correctness in many ways. First of all, the person to check the document is likely to be the person who produced the document. They need to take the time to make sure the document meets the requirements of the recipient. It is then a good idea to have someone else to cast an eye over the document as they haven’t been working with it as closely as the person producing it. Word processing systems have a spell checking and a grammar checking facility that can both be used to check the accuracy of what has been written.

It is also a good idea to use spell checkers in conjunction with reading a printed version of the document. This is because spell checkers don’t always recognise things as incorrect. b) Why is this done? Businesses will check finished documents for accuracy and correctness before it is given to the customer. This is done to ensure the document is fit-for-purpose. 3. Explain the purpose of following confidentiality and data protection procedures when preparing documents. It is very important that businesses follow Confidentiality and Data Protection procedures when preparing documents.

This is required by law. When the business is producing documents, the rights and confidential information about individuals must be respected. 4. In business environments, there is often a requirement to use notes as the basis for text and documents. a) Compare the different types of documents that can be produced from notes and include a description of the format of each document. There are many different types of documents that can be produced from notes. These are:- * Memos – format as follows:- To: From: Date: Subject: this is where you put the main body of text Letters – format as follows:- Business address: in top right corner Date: underneath your business address Address of receiver: couple of lines down after date on left hand side Dear: couple of lines down after address of receiver Subject: start the main body of the letter couple of lines down Yours sincerely: Signature: * Reports b) Explain the procedures to be followed when preparing text from notes. Once you have completed all 4 Sections of this Assessment, go to www. vision2learn. com and send your work to your tutor for marking.

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