Appraise your records and address the digital heap

What is Digital Appraisal?

Digital appraisal is the process of deciding which records organisations should keep for permanent preservation and which records should be deleted.

Government departments must transfer records of historical value for permanent preservation to The National Archives within a time period of 20 years (previously 30 years). Before records can be transferred, they must be appraised and selected for permanent preservation and reviewed for sensitivity.

With the growing shift from physical records to born digital records and the escalating volume and quantity, as well as the ever-evolving transition of technology, the lifecycle of information over the past two decades has altered significantly. Almost all information today is created and held digitally. This ranges from documents and presentations to email and spreadsheets and much more. All are information formats that will need to be managed appropriately.

The challenge is that over the past two decades the technology and approaches haven’t been applied consistently or effectively for managing the lifecycle of born-digital information.  This has led to the digital heap where organisations are left with a mass of digital data stored on shared drives and legacy EDRM platforms that is poorly organised and indexed, and often archived data is virtually inaccessible.

Benefits of Digital Appraisal
  • Gain full visibility of disparate data repositories for faster macro-appraisal and selection
  • Combine metadata and content search for reporting to assist business function engagement
  • Perform relevancy scoring against collections to filter redundant, obsolete and trivial files
  • Identify records to be retained and whether they can be transferred closed or open
  • Extract and preserve structure, metadata and content to enable faster decommissioning
  • Audited data migrations available to provide support for internal preservation and TNA transfer

What is digital appraisal from AI?

Automated Intelligence has a wealth of experience helping public sector organisations on their journey to gain better insights, discovery, intelligent decisions, and change, for the better when it comes to their managing their data.

AI.DATALIFT, a cloud-hosted solution, can help organisations bring their data under control in order to address the digital heap. File servers and EDRM platforms can all be scanned, and information, regardless of age and location can be indexed, so with AI.DATALIFT for the first time, your teams can locate and retrieve data which is decades old. It can be appraised with information owners to understand if it needs to be deleted or is to be selected for permanent preservation. Combined with sensitivity reviews and reporting, AI.DATALIFT provides the opportunity for addressing the digital heap.


Automated Intelligence provides an interactive dashboard enabling the following features: 

  • Data Classification: dynamic categorisation using metadata & content analysis for records identification, selection & reporting
  • Pattern Matching: library of ‘out of the box’ patterns with support for using existing organisational lexicons & custom patterns​
  • Advanced Search: keyword & pattern search with results highlighting & document review to support selection & sensitivity review
  • Duplication Detection: identification and visibility of exact duplicates across different information repositories
  • Policy Actions: fully-audited defensible disposition to reduce volume of redundant, obsolete & trivial data at source
  • Security Access: visibility of users and groups with access to data to help identify information owners and sensitive areas
  • Embedded Objects: embedded objects analysis & indexing (i.e. email attachments) for keyword and pattern matching ​
  • Image to Text: image processing for text extraction and familiar object description to extend search beyond metadata context
  • ​Cloud Processing: processing, analysis & review utilising secure cloud architecture to protect existing infrastructure & resources



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Read our blog or contact us for further information

Read our recent blog – “3 compelling factors feeding the digital heap within government departments,” via the link below or contact us for further information.

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