Data Management FAQ

A list of services and frequently asked questions regarding data management at Coleman Data Solutions.

Records Management Consulting

Q. What is a records management consultation?
A. Our organization is an authority for disseminating your specific needs and providing you with a solution to effectively manage your records accurately, safely and securely.

Document Scanning/Imaging

Q. What is document scanning and imaging?
A. Document scanning and imaging, or digital archiving, is the process of scanning a document into a digital image to archive and retrieve at a later date. A document can be from one to several thousand pages, and can include images and text.

Q. What are the benefits of document scanning?
A. Document scanning, in addition to being cost-efficient, also increases productivity. This service increases security as you set the parameters for who may view the document; enables a multitude of individuals to review the document at the same time; provides the ability to search, retrieve, email and find documents easily; and decreases storage space needs.

Q. Can your organization scan large format documents?
A. Yes, large format scanning used for such entities as city plans and blueprints is available. We selected scanners with the ability to scan a variety of sizes from black and white note cards and forms to a multitude of various color blue prints.

Q. Does your organization have the ability to scan color documents?
A. Yes, our organization has the ability to scan color documents. Color documents generally do take longer to scan than standard black and white documents.

Q. Can you scan double-sided documents – and remove blank pages?
A. Our software and imaging systems supports duplex scanning, simultaneously scanning both sides of a page. Programming allows us to remove blank pages where applicable.

Q. What is the image resolution that you generally provide?
A. We can provide you with a variety of resolutions from 200 dpi to higher depending on your specific needs.

Q. What is ICR?
A. ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) is a technology that provides scanning and imaging systems the ability to recognize images of hand-printed or script characters, into machine-readable characters. Images of hand-printed characters are extracted from a bitmap and converted into a scanned image. Forms can be scanned through an imaging scanner, faxed, or computer generated to produce the bitmap.

Q. What is OCR?
A. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a technology that enables you to convert different types of machine-readable documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files or images captured by a digital camera into editable and searchable data. This technology would allow you to recognize letters on the image, put them into words and then these words into sentences.

Q. What is OMR?
A. OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) is the translation of marks – or the absence of marks – but not the shape of the mark on forms that contain small circles (“also called bubbles”) completed by the respondent. This software interprets the output from the scanner and translates it into the desired ASCII output. OMR does not recognize hand-printed or machine-printed characters and does not create an image. This is frequently used for check marks on questionnaires, ballots, tests and reports.

Q. Should I select imaging software that allows changes?
A. An imaging system should not provide features to edit or alter images. Images generally are created as safe and secure records of existing paper documents. Allowing changes to be made would adversely impact the integrity of the records.

Quality & Data Security

Q. Can I determine who has accessed our records?
A. Your imaging software should provide an audit trail function to track users on your imaging system.

Q. What if I do not want individuals to see specific information?
A. Due to decisions made by Congress, the concept of redaction software was invented to keep confidential information safe in its electronic form. This particular software enables the manager of the imaging system to secure sensitive information.

Q. Which types of software programs are usually supported?
A. Our organization is unique in that we are extremely flexible and can meet most client needs relative to the integration of images into their existing software applications.

Q. How do you ensure that our records are scanned accurately?
A. Not only do we have a highly trained and capable staff, we also have quality controls in place to ensure your record translations are verified by a second party.

Q. What is indexing?
A. Specific fields indicated on each scanned document are provided to our organization to create the systematic arrangement of your records. This process is designed to enable users to quickly retrieve a stored record.

Q. What types of data entry services do you perform?
A. Our business is to understand what data you need entered and in what particular format. After an initial analysis is performed, our highly skilled staff enters your required information into the format suited to meet your needs.


Q. What are micrographics?
A. A micrographic is an image or photographic reproduction of an object which is then converted to film. Micrographics are frequently used for permanent records, stored conveniently and then easily retrieved for reference and use.

Q. What is a microform?
A. This is the collective term for all micro images stored on a wide range of microfilm media, such as roll film, fiche, aperture cards, strip or jackets.

Q. What is microfilm?
A. This is a photographic reproduction of a document greatly reduced in size from the original on fine grain, high resolution film. Microfilm requires a reader for viewing.

Q. Are there standards for electronic imaging?
A. Given the sensitive nature of most permanent records, there are microphotography standards in place which include microfilm, computer out microfilm, and electronic imaging. Electronic image requirements continue to evolve.

Data formats/integration

Q. What is database integration?
A. Database integration is the ability to provide user-friendly and cost-effective software solutions for data infrastructure management through the interface of your records into your existing storage and retrieval facility.

Q. What are the standard types of files produced?
A. A PDF file is universally recognized by the internet and is also a secure image, given that an electronic footprint remains when the document is altered. Black and white images are more commonly stored as TIFFs or JPEGs. Our organization is flexible and has the ability to provide you images in over 250 formats.

Secure Storage and Destruction

Q. Do you provide storage and destruction services?
A. We will assess your storage and destruction needs as part of our evaluation process. Our destruction services can be performed onsite or offsite and include a certification of authenticity for your safekeeping.