A database refers to any structured collection of data, for example, sets of client records saved on a computer, or kept in files or folders in a cabinet, or contact details or records kept on an index card system.
Protocols for naming files and storing them in appropriate folders will enable other staff to locate and access the documents they require.
Regardless of its physical format, you still need to rely on information being up-to-date and accurate. When access to the database is open to many users, maintenance of the data can be more difficult and critical.
Strategies for ensuring accuracy of data need to be formalised in a system. This system should be time-efficient, simple to use and effective. All users need to be educated regarding their responsibilities to ensure ongoing maintenance.
Nelson’s agency services some very remote areas, and has a policy that vehicles must not be used off-road unless the driver has completed a defensive driving course for dirt-road driving. Nelson cannot visit clients beyond sealed roads if his completion of the driving course is not recorded in the staff database.
Maintaining a database