Migrating Data from Paper to an Online Base
There is no room for making mistakes when it comes to handling critical information that depends on the well-being and future of our United States immigration clients. Seven years ago, I kicked off my career in immigration and I got the chance to work on meaningful projects and save people but the amount of legal paper work was astounding. Migrating to a digital platform has been my dream for the past ten years. Our cases solely depended on paperwork. My goal at the firm from 2011 till 2017, was to organize data and migrate all audio and paper based material to digital content. My role as a researcher was to conduct user studies and figure out customer journey maps for registration processes.
The more clients I worked with, the more I connected the relations between filling out paper versus digital applications. My background in Anthropology helps me understand the complexity of what goes beyond every user journey and how customers process information. The most difficult aspect was migrating our work from voice format to an online dashboard. We had to create processes to transcribe translated meetings from one language to another. Taking notes on paper and transmitting data to a digital platform, was one of our main goals at the law firm.
Documentation is the biggest challenge at our agency. Every morning our team would put out a roaster with our client meetings and most urgent cases, organized hourly and updated regularly. The end goal is to build an application on the computer with zero errors to be submitted to the U.S. Immigration Department. As a researcher, the longer I spent time transferring information on a piece of paper to a digital surface, the more I wanted to fix these paper-based problems. For example, false pronunciation of numbers, letters, names, etc, would lead to serious delays and errors from our end. I’m fascinated by a world that can migrate offline paper-based systems to the digitization of existing physical content.
The passion for efficiency and digital transformation isn’t a unique feature to software developers or to design thinkers. We crave efficiency and integrity in information, and seamless systems that can speak to each other. I thought of this piece related to our current affairs on data. The following is an excerpt from the book The Industries of the Future, by Alec Ross.
Chapter: Data: The Raw Material Of the Information Age – Data is the raw material of the information age.
“ Private companies now collect and sell as many as 75,000 individual data points about the average American consumer. And that number is tiny compared with what’s to come.
The explosion in data creation is a very recent occurrence and from its inception, data storage has grown exponentially. For millennia, record keeping meant clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, or parchment and vellum made from animal skin. The first modern paper, made from wood or glass pulp, was a big advance; but the first major milestone in mass production of data came with the invention of the printing press. In the first 50 years after the first printing press appeared, 8 million books were printed–more than all the books produced by European scribes in the prior millennium.
With the successive inventions of telegraph, telephone, radio, television, and computers, the amount of data in the world grew rapidly during the 20th century. By 1996, there was so much data and computing had gotten sufficiently inexpensive that digital storage became more cost-effective than paper systems for the first time.
As recently as 2000, only 25 percent of data was stored in digital form. Less than a decade later, in 2007, that percentage had skyrocketed to 94 percent. And it has continued to rise since.
Digitization dialed up the possibilities for data collection in a remarkable way. Ninety percent of the world’s digital data has been generated over the last two years. Every year, the amount of digital data grows by 50 percent. Every minute of the day, 204 million emails are sent, 2.4 million pieces of content are posted on Youtube, and 216,000new photos are posted to Instagram. Industrial films are embedding sensors into their producers to better manage their supply chains and logistics. The sum of all this is the creation of 5.6 zettabytes in 2015. A zettabyte is 1 trillion gigabytes.”
pages 153, 154. The Industries of the Future.
It makes us wonder what the future of documenting information will look like and in what digital format can information interconnect with each other.