Societies have been documenting vital records such as births, deaths and marriages for hundreds of years. In the United States, widespread documentation began in the 1800s. Of course, they didn’t have computers or the cloud back then, so all of these vital records were documented on paper and parchment.
Even with the best care in the most well-maintained archive, paper documents don’t last forever. Over time, moisture, mites, light and mold can damage these vital records. This can necessitate costly restoration for valuable, historical documents, whereas other less-important documents and photos may simply be lost to time.
What’s more, these important photo and documents can be difficult to reference — at least compared to the alternative. It is far easier to type a query into a well-indexed database versus trudging down to the archives to sift through thousands of documents in your search for a single piece of paper. WIth this sort of data capture project, you are quite literally bringing the past into the digital age.
The Benefits of Using Outsourced Data Capture Solutions for Vital Records
Vital records are a very suitable candidate for outsourced data capture services. Some projects may also extend into the realm of data entry, which is a key point to understand as you seek a data services outsourcing partner. The difference between data capture vs data entry focuses around the nature of the data. Data capture typically entails a limited scope of data, with predefined options such as “yes” and “no” answers or answers on a form. On the other hand, data entry involves unique texts, such as a court document discussing a judge’s findings in a case.
There are many advantages of outsourced data capture for vital records such as birth records, death records, marriage records and property records. A few of the benefits include the following.
Genealogy Research – Recent years have seen a big jump in the popularity of genealogy research. Digitized records have largely enabled this shift and data capture services have been instrumental in making this happen. The family history and genealogy research process has been transformed by well-indexed digitized records which have been uploaded onto the internet. As a result, this historical data can be accessed from virtually anywhere.
Historical Preservation – An entire industry revolves around the historical preservation of documents and photographs. From museums, to archives, governments and private organizations, there is no shortage of organizations that need to capture historic documents and photographs. To add an element of urgency, the clock is ticking on many of these priceless items because the passage of time may translate into irreparable damage. Data capture solutions deliver an effective option for stopping the clock, so to speak, creating searchable, digital records of historical items that may otherwise be lost to time, moisture and even social strife.
Heritage and Genetics – Heritage is a critical element of an individual’s identity and the advancement of DNA technology has spurred a new industry. More and more people are seeking information about their roots and genetics today. As with other sciences, more data translates into greater accuracy and new insights. This makes heritage and related genetic data a great candidate for outsourced data capture, whether you’re a scientist, researcher, academic or archivist. Digitizing this information is also important for preservation of data that could easily be lost to time.
DNA and Hereditary Risk – In addition to learning about historical roots, many turn to DNA testing to learn about hereditary risk factors. Genetics are known to predispose an individual to developing certain conditions and diseases. This has prompted countless individuals to seek DNA evaluations in an attempt to gain insights into likely problem areas with their health. The more data available, the more medical professionals, academics, scientists and researchers can learn about these genetic predispositions. For this reason, we are seeing an increasing number of organizations outsourcing data services to quickly, accurately and cost-effectively digitize information — information that can be used to further the world’s knowledge of DNA and hereditary risk factors.
Vital Records Management – The essential nature of vital records and other similar documents means that significant amounts of money are spent on management, storage, preservation and restoration. Digital records simply don’t require the support staff that would be needed to maintain paper versions of those records. This alone can justify the cost of data capture services in many cases.
There is also cost savings on storage space in instances where the original paper documents can be discarded after digitization.
Data capture outsourcing services offer a cost-effective and time-efficient option for bringing the past into the future by digitizing the data contained in vital records and important documents of all kinds. At iTech, we understand the importance of this sort of project and understand the unique challenges that a client may encounter. Contact iTech today to learn more about outsourcing and our vital records data capture services.