Today, the world generates exponentially more information. Fortunately, most of it is stored electronically in a data management system of one sort or another. Searching is done online, and retrieval means opening a document on your computer desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Maybe you will print a copy or download it to store locally.
You would think digital files would make storage and retrieval easier, and in some ways, it has. But there is still a role for data retrieval specialists because of the sheer mountain of data. The sometimes arcane methods of storing it may hinder the typical person on the street who needs to find a specific piece of paperwork.
What is document storage and retrieval these days?
Document storage is the act of placing a document, typically a digital document, into a document management system (DMS). Instead of file cabinets, we now use electronic storage. It saves space and time. Often when a document is stored, it is marked with a set of metadata to tag it as a particular category or classification. And then into the digital file it goes.
Document retrieval is the act of connecting a requester with the needed document or documents. Often the requester performs the search and retrieves the record, but in the case of specialized documents and management systems, a specialist might assist with the retrieval.
A document retrieval specialist is familiar with the document system and the labeling, tagging, and schema of the system. While the requester may be able to use the DMS, he or she probably will not be as efficient, even using a simple keyword search.
CourthouseDirect.com is a large document management system housing thousands of deeds and records, most of which are easily found in one of the specialized databases. Still, it can take time, so Courthouse Specialists are available to help you streamline the business of quickly getting the right documents.
Benefits of Electronic Document Storage and Retrieval
We’ve already spoken of the ease of finding electronic documents as well as the space-saving of a DMS over a bunch of cabinets and boxes.
An online DMS provides other benefits, too. For example:
- It’s available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
- You can search anytime from your home or office.
- No need to request huge ledgers and get all dusty.
- You aren't limited to specific business hours.
- You don't have to wait for your turn to talk to the clerk or use a file.
What else does a DMS offer for document retrieval?
You can perform a global search across all files or just a subset using a keyword—big boost in productivity there. Until the user gains permission, the documents are totally secure. And it doesn’t matter if someone else wants to look at it at the same time.
Another benefit is the availability of a retrieval specialist to help speed up the process even more. If you are pressed for time, or you require several searches, a specialist who understands the search process and system can gather those documents while you do something else.
Accessing and Retrieving Documents
When stored correctly, retrieving documents using a keyword search is relatively easy. Searching by name, address, vendor, or other simple keyword or phrase provides a list of documents containing that word or phrase.
You can broaden your search (or narrow it as the case may be) by taking advantage of a full-text search. Unlike a simple keyword search, which may only look at metadata or titles, a full-text search looks for your keyword or phrase within each document's text.
Full-text search assumes the documents were stored in such a way that the content can be read electronically. However, in some cases, such as scanned documents, it may not be possible for the system to read it. Optical character recognition, a technology developed to read scanned text, isn't always equipped to read handwritten documents or documents with a lot of artifacts from scanning like blots or spaces.
Another key to retrieving documents is learning to track document threads to inform your search. For example, if you search on a vendor name, the documents may show a connection from one document to another that has to do with that vendor. You might find contracts with other organizations and so avoid using the same vendor as a competitor.
Retrieval Users and Services
The most significant groups of users in document retrieval are healthcare and real estate organizations. Each group requires fast, accurate, easy, and relevant document retrieval to maintain operations.
Title and mortgage banking frequently use historical documents. User roles include title agents, insurance underwriters, lenders, mortgage departments, and foreclosure attorneys. CourthouseDirect.com and CourthouseSpecialists.com serve the real estate industry with a title plant and databases of any document you may need.
Courthouse Specialists handle municipal and county-required platting and permitting documentation across the state of Texas. We do City Planning Letters or Title letters, Sign Easement Letters, and more. If you need to expedite permitting, our specialists can find your documents in record time.
Another area we can help is in Certificates. In two to three business days, we can produce thorough yet easy to read certificates for abstractors and limited titles. We can even provide Nothing Further Certificates.
Right-of-way documents are critical when working TXDOT projects and major pipeline projects. We can help cell tower companies with abstracting for new tower sites and co-locations. And we can perform services for multiple parcels if needed.
Do you need a Chain of Title? Courthouse Specialists can trace title all the way back to sovereignty. Alternatively, we can find the current and prior owners of a piece of property, even on adjacent lots. Furthermore, you can access deeds, probate documents, and marriage and divorce records in our databases, or you can ask a specialist to help you out.
Document storage and retrieval is an essential service for today's real estate and oil industries. When documents are stored electronically in a management system, in a logical order, and with keyword search capabilities, your job becomes a whole lot easier. And if your document retrieval needs are extensive, or you need something at the last minute, Courthouse Specialists are ready to help you, no matter the size of the project.