Why is data organization so essential to HR departments?

• 5 minutes read

M-Files helps HR departments organize, store and browse all employee data more efficiently. Furthermore, it helps prepare for the new GDPR directive, which stipulates millions in potential fines

What matters to M-Files is WHAT you store, not WHERE you store it. Documents of various formats are saved in a single database by key words. M-Files has made data organization easier and has significantly accelerated searches for specific information.

Daria Loos Glebov
HR Specialist

When the person with a document is not present at a meeting and you do not know the answer to a question while the data is, naturally, vital and urgent… Or when your colleague is on a vacation in Cuba, where there is no WiFi… Or when you print out piles of paper and have nowhere to store them…

These are the types of situations that made Span’s HR staff realize that they urgently needed an effective data management system. Daily maintenance of data on several hundred employees is certainly not the world’s easiest task.

Daria Loos Glebov, Span’s HR specialist, reveals how M-Files made HR operations easier and faster.

• What types and quantities of documents do Span’s HR employees handle on a daily basis?

Daria: It’s hard to count the quantities that pass through our hands and before our eyes every day. The number of documents is enviable: from e-mail messages, notes, certificates (education, kindergarten, school, internships), diplomas, photographs, confidentiality agreements, tables, reports, and – of course – employment contracts, annexes, contracts with educational institutions, decisions on annual leave, days off, sick leave…

Tell me when to stop, because now that I think of it, the list is endless.

  • Where did store documents before, and how?

Daria: Up until recently they were stored locally, on computers. Hence, each of the three of us working here in the HR department was in charge of one of the company’s organisational units. We used to store all data relating to the unit’s employees on our PCs.

And all kinds of situations arose. From one of us being on vacation when a report was urgently needed, to rifling through drawers to find data on an employee, or calling colleagues after work…

  • What were the main problems with storing data locally, on computers?

Daria: The biggest problem was access to data. When a person holding information on an employee was not in the office, others could not access them. That made our work difficult and slow.

  • What was the most time-consuming activity – browsing, storing or sharing documents?

Daria: All of the above. Literally all of it. What we missed the most was the ability to work jointly on a certain document. When the need arose for working on the same document while we were at different locations, we had no other choice but to duplicate the document.

  • How did the lack of a document management system affect HR’s efficiency?

Daria: We used to invest much more time in browsing and creating documents. With M-Files it only takes 5 minutes to do what would previously take up to 30 minutes. Literally, 3 clicks in the application.

Certain processes that were previously handled manually are now performed automatically from all of our systems, which is a time-saver. There are templates available for quite a few documents in the M-Files. We no longer need to search for a specific template, as they are all at the same place and all you have to do is create them (again, with two or three clicks).

  • What are the main advantages of M-Files?

Daria: What matters to M-Files is what you store, not where you store it. Documents of various formats are stored in a single database by key words. M-Files has made data organization easier and significantly accelerated searches for specific information. Now it’s also possible to collaborate on documents, and data security has been enhanced.

For example, when drafting an annex to a contract, or a decision on annual leave, we no longer need to enter all data from scratch, as M-Files automatically draws employee data.

Furthermore, we can go on vacation (even to Cuba) carefree, because with M-Files we have access to all documents. Of course, access to data can be limited so that only some of our colleagues can see certain data (e.g. payroll information).

  • When did you realize you needed a new document management system?

Daria: The higher number of employees led to exponential growth in the number of documents, along with the time required for their creation and the safekeeping of confidential data. M-Files has been “saving” us for over 6 months now, and it saved us a lot of time that we used to spend “mining.”

  • Why did you never use other DMS systems?

Daria: Due to the type of information we manage, data security and confidentiality are of utmost importance in HR. We do not all have access to all documents, and each of us determines what documents to share with others. M-Files has a solidly elaborated option of awarding “roles” and access to data.

When something is deleted by accident, there is backup – administrators can restore deleted documents in a matter of moments.

Furthermore, the data in M-Files are entirely secure. As our IT experts explained to us, during transfer within an M-Files network, the data are encrypted and only those with authorised access can get them.

  • Was it difficult to embrace the new system for you, since you had no experience with similar software?

Daria: M-Files is a simple, intuitive solution. It doesn’t take mastering Microsoft Office to work in it and get the required data and reports.

We underwent thorough training with our experts, who introduced all M-Files options and features to us. I have to commend them and say that they had answers to all of our questions and patience with those of us who aren’t quite IT experts. 🙂

  • How did M-Files influence HR operations the most?

Daria: It definitely cut processing time. Administrative tasks are part of almost any operation, and when the time required for it is reduced, everyone is happy!

  • Can you describe the M-Files software implementation process in the HR department?

Daria: M-Files is entirely tailored to the needs of Human Resources. Before its implementation, we had meetings with project managers who listened to our needs and the challenges we face, and created M-Files accordingly.



M-Files is useful not only for HR departments but also for those who manage enormous quantities of data on a daily basis. For example, if you work in the marketing, you are certainly aware of how challenging it might be to collect all of the data required for a project. Some data are stored locally on a computer, some on business mail, some on OneDrive or in your desk drawer.

That’s where M-Files comes in – it doesn’t matter where we look, but rather what we look for. M-Files stores all data on a topic in a joint database. There is no need to open and search dozens of different programmes and applications to get the information.

All it takes is to type a key word into the system and click! All documents related to the entry are listed on the screen.

M-Files cannot search your desk drawers or file folders, of course. Scan paper documents and “toss” them into the M-Files system, and they will automatically be stored in the joint base, together with other data.



Don’t forget the role of M-Files in the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation that will come into effect next year. According to the GDPR, each EU citizen is entitled to seek deletion of personal data previously provided for somebody’s use.

If such data are abused, injured parties can seek damages. Fines for violations of the GDPR can run up to €20m.

If your organization is a large one, and you have hundreds of employees and thousands or hundreds of thousands of clients – how can you find every place where a specific client’s data is stored?

You type his/her name into the document management system and get precise information on all the locations where client data is stored – or are you willing to risk a fine of up to €20m?


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