ADMINISTRATION REVISION - BLOCK 5 STORAGE OF INFORMATION STORAGE OF INFORMATION This means filing data Filing means storing information in a particular way Filing can be either: Manual when paper documents need to be kept in cabinets or Electronic when records are kept in a database on computer . A database is the name of the software application which stores records An example of database software is Microsoft Access Data needs to be kept so that it can be accessed again at any time. WHAT MAKES A GOOD FILING SYSTEM? The Essential Features No matter the method of filing, it must be: • simple and easy to use • capable of expansion ie ‘future-proof’ • accessible by all who need to use it • economical in terms of cost and space • secure from unauthorised access • capable of keeping files safe from damage FILING EQUIPMENT For Manual Filing Lateral filing cabinets Horizontal filing cabinets Clips and staples Box files Filofax Trays Card Index Vertical filing cabinets Rotary file Folders eg pocket and lever arch FILING EQUIPMENT For Electronic Filing CDRom and DVD Floppy Disc Database Software eg MS Access Hard Disc METHODS OF FILING The order into which records are sorted Alphabetical - records sorted alphabetically by surname or firm’s name • the name is the filing point • simple and easy to use but not easy to expand long term because some letters of the alphabet are more common than others Numerical - records sorted by account number or reference number • the account/reference number is the filing point • capable of endless expansion since a new customer is given next number but a manual system needs an alphabetical index to find customer’s file Chronological - records are organised in date order • the date is the filing point • all manual methods use this since the newest documents are placed at the front of the folder more methods on the next slide …. MORE METHODS OF FILING Geographical - records are sorted according to place eg the town in the customer’s address • the town or city is the filing point • the towns are arranged alphabetically • could be used by sales representatives who cover different areas Subject - records are sorted according to a category or topic eg like books in a library with a crime section, travel section etc • the item is the filing point • arranged alphabetically by item • could be used by department stores or supermarkets where the names of the products stocked is the filing point These 5 methods of filing are also known as methods of indexing MANUAL FILING PROCEDURE File regularly or ….. …… it becomes a chore 1 Collect documents from ‘out’ trays or ‘filing’ trays 2 Only file documents which have a release mark such as 3 Decide the filing point ie the surname if alphabetical account number if numerical 4 date if chronological Pre-sort documents on desk 5 Working in one drawer at a time, remove the first file 6 Place the document at the front of the file 7 Replace file in the proper place in the drawer 8 Repeat the process till all documents are filed Now answer the following questions in sentences on paper. 1 Why is it necessary to file? 2 List 3 features of a good filing system, manual or electronic. 3 What do you understand by the term ‘filing point’. 4 Which indexing method uses surnames as the filing point 5 Give a major drawback of using this method of indexing? 6 What is the major advantage of using numerical filing? 7 What is meant by chronological order? 8 How do all methods of filing use chronological order? 9 When would geographical filing be appropriate. 10 How would you know a document was ready for filing? Now check your answers with the solution and note your score. PROBLEM SOLVING Solve the following problem on paper. You have been asked to pre-sort documents from clients. Arrange them into alphabetical order prior to filing them away. John Smith and Sons Mr James Patterson Paterson Fabricators Mr J Smith The Albany Hotel Mrs T Andrews Mr Peter Albarn Saint Andrews Hospice Thomas Andrews Plc Santos Mining Corporation The Fabric Shack Alba Antiques Now check your answer with the solution and note your score. MICROFILMING When firms begin to run out of storage space, microfilming is an option Documents are photographed and reduced to the size of postage stamps The filmed documents are stored on rolls, cards or sheets Strips of film are stored in transparent wallets called jackets A sheet of film with hundreds of reduced A4 documents is called fiche Equipment required for microfilming: camera reader/viewer for enlarging a document back to reading size processor to develop the film printer to get a hard copy when required Libraries microfilm back copies of newspapers Microfilmed documents last longer than their paper originals Another option when storage space becomes critical …. Electronic filing WHAT IS ELECTRONIC FILING? Answer - Storing information in a computer database Question - What exactly is a database? Answer - Any collection of data Question - What does a database look like? Answer - A manual database could be a telephone book or card index A computer database is an application that stores records on computer file Question - How is a computer database structured? Answer - In a grid with columns, called fields and rows called records Question - What does a computer database have over the manual version? continued over ……. ADVANTAGES OF A COMPUTER DATABASE Records are more easily added, deleted and edited when details change than they would be in a manual database Tippex Storage space is greatly reduced compared to manual filing cabinets This makes storage much cheaper once the computer has been purchased Records are searched much quicker than manual, so its easier to find a particular item Records can be reorganised into a different order in seconds Records do not get damaged like paper files can Records can be made secure by use of password access Files can be shared and worked on by several people simultaneously ELECTRONIC FILING PROCEDURE 1 Open up the appropriate database 2 Key in the data under the appropriate field names in the next row 3 Sort the database into the order normally kept eg alphabetical 4 Save the database Now answer the following questions in sentences on paper. 1 How can large numbers of documents be stored in a small space? 2 What is microfiche? 3 What is a microfilm reader used for? 4 Name a software application which stores records ? 5 What is the name of the database software you use? 6 Name 3 advantages electronic filing has over manual filing. 7 How can a record be found quickly from a large database? 8 How can databases be made secure? 9 Name the legislation covering data held on computer? 10 How would you change someone’s address in a database? Now check your answers with the solution and note your score. PROBLEM SOLVING This task may be done on computer or on paper. At the moment the sports centre where you work as an Administrator keeps its members’ records on index cards. You have been asked for your views on the whether these records should be transferred on to the centre’s computer. Prepare a memo to the centre’s manager on the advantages and disadvantages of this proposal and come to a conclusion based on the points you have made. Now compare your results with the solution and note your score. PROBLEM SOLVING This task may be done on computer or on paper. You work as an administrative assistant for a large organisation which currently stores all its records manually in filing cabinets. It is shortly moving to smaller premises and has no space for all its records. Prepare a report to the General Manager outlining 2 possible options. Your report should detail all the implications of both methods. Now check your answer with the solution and note your score.