At some point, you’ll need to pull some fragment of information from the wealth of gigabytes your company has stored offsite on media cartridges.
Barcode labels and asset labels can certainly help when you either manually scan the cartridges, or scan via an electronic system -- But how will you organize your labels? Color-coding asset labels is one option. It’s also wise to choose a barcode label system that easily references the information you’re backing up.
To decide what is right for your data storage organization, it may be helpful to follow these steps:
- Get a list of all the information that will be backed-up. If this is too hefty of task, at least get a general idea of what information will be stored on the media cartridges.
- With that information in front of you, determine what type of bar code labeling system would be most helpful. Is the information chronological in nature? Are they reports from 2008-2017? A simple organizational tip in this case would be to choose bar code labels that reference the date. An example would be: 012017 where the 01 references the month of January, and 2017 indicates the year.
- If your information is not so chronological in nature, you may wish to use a simple series of numbers on your bar code labels. For instance, a library with a series of numbers 1-100. You can add to this by putting a name in front of the number to further indicate what is stored on the media cartridge. An example of this in a backup library consisting of SEC filings would be something like: SEC 97.
- Color-coding the bar code labels and asset labels your company uses to index data storage may also be helpful. Again, with the information in front of you, determine a color chart that can serve as a quick indication of what type of media it is. For instance, make your tax information bar code labels red and your customer database yellow. When determining the color-coding scheme, it’s important to keep in mind what types of future digital information will be stored offsite on media cartridges. If you will eventually have three different types of human resource data storage, you’ll need to allow for more than one color.
- Asset labels are a simple way to easily identify company information on the media cartridges. Depending on the size of your company, you may wish to use asset labels to identify different divisions within the larger organization. Asset labels can also be color-coded in a similar manner to bar code labels.
One key tip to remember as you work to organize your data storage is to keep everything as simple as possible. An organizational system that makes sense to the most individuals in the company is best.
Additionally, it’s absolutely necessary to create a key and save it in several locations. The key should clearly identify what color coding and numerical series reference on your barcode labels and asset labels.