Woman exploring the impact of documentation statistics


11 Documentation Statistics to Make You Rethink Process in 2024

How many times have you heard that SOP and Process documentation is essential in growing a business? And you know it's true. But maybe you don't know the implications for your business. Here are 13 documentation statistics that will compel you to reassess your processes in 2024.

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How many times have you heard that SOP and Process documentation is essential in growing a business? And you know it’s true. 

But maybe you don’t know the implications for your business.

Here are 11 documentation statistics that will compel you to reassess your processes in 2024.

11 Documentation statistics that will make you rethink your (business) processes in 2024

  1. According to a Forrester report commissioned by Adobe, a staggering 97% of organizations had minimal or no digital document processes
  2. Data entry errors in procurement, supply chain, and other areas cost businesses over $600 billion each year. (Data Warehouse Institute)
  3. Just 24% of respondents claimed their organizations use a DM system / document management system. (The ICM Consultant)
  4. Knowledge workers spend on average 50% of their time creating and preparing documents. Without a document management strategy and a reliable system, 25% of these documents will end up being lost.
  5. 83% of employees recreate missing documents. (Source: Business.com)
  6. Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S. Source: FileBank
  7. 45% of small-sized businesses still rely on traditional paper-based document management.
  8. According to a study by AWV, a regular-sized company can save time spent in manual file sharing by up to 80% when using Document Management Systems. (Source: Signhouse)
  9. 8 in 10 participants say they need to access corporate documents on their mobile device – source: aiim.org I.e. 80% need mobile device access. (Signhouse)
  10. Fortune 500 companies in total lose an average of $12 billion per year due to inefficiency caused by unstructured document management. (Signhouse)
  11. By 2025, the world will store 200 zettabytes of data. (Signhouse)
Documentation Statistics - Whale blog

The statistics paint a vivid picture of the challenges and opportunities surrounding document management in today’s digital age. A vast majority of organizations are still struggling with minimal or nonexistent digital document processes, leading to significant inefficiencies and financial losses due to data entry errors and time spent recreating missing documents. 

The reliance on traditional paper-based systems remains prevalent among small-sized businesses despite the potential for substantial time savings offered by document management systems. 

Looking ahead, as the volume of data continues to grow exponentially, the importance of implementing structured document management strategies becomes increasingly paramount to mitigate the risks of inefficiency and financial loss faced by organizations, including Fortune 500 companies.

Good documentation can be the key to success for a team. This is exactly why it is essential to emphasize that the document does not have to be an article, full of rules and good practices. The goal is not to lose a lot of work time, but the opposite: document everything vital to save time in the future.
Marina Coelho on documentation and process
Marina Coelho
DevRel Engineer at Google

Implications for team members and the way of work

Okay, so it’s just documentation, right? It’s just about organizing things a little better.


Documentation has an implication on the way of work, which impacts your number one asset; the people who work in your business.

Assuming your team members work a 40-hour work week, your employees gives your company 2,000 hours of work every year. 

Think about the impact that the above numbers will have just on your team members. Does your team have to recreate documents? How does your team transfer knowledge and share information? Is important information stored on a local desktop or laptop?

Not only do such habits inhibit productivity, but they also lead to siloed work and prohibit collaborative work. 

The Slack State of Work Report 2023 states that 70% of team members feel that fewer meetings and emails would increase productivity, and 77% say that being able to automate routine tasks would significantly improve their productivity.


Calculate your ROI

When you’re choosing a documentation & training solution for your team, you want to know what return you can expect.

What are the implications of lack of documentation for business in 2024?

Apart from a negative impact impact on productivity and the way of work, lack of documentation has a negative impact on general business efficiency.

We love to see numbers and percentages, but what do they actually mean? 

The bottom line is that lack of process documentation;

  • Costs business money. If it’s $12 billion per year for Fortune 500 companies, imagine the impact on scaling businesses.
  • Has a negative effect on the environment
  • Impacts productivity within the workplace
  • Costs business time

5 Quick wins to improve your business process today

The state of change can feel a little overwhelming at times, but impacting workplace productivity and business performance through documentation doesn’t need to be difficult or time-consuming. 

Don’t despair.

A single source of truth promotes collaborative working and saves a bunch of time! Documentation can be implemented quickly and with a dramatic impact on team productivity. It also makes hiring and onboarding way easier. 

Here are 5 quick wins that will make a world of difference not only on the efficiency of your business to deliver great products and service to customers but also to your team’s level of happiness.

  1. Document from scratch using an AI-powered tool (like Whale)
  2. Automate your employee onboarding process
  3. Think Netflix to create documentation that REALLY engages your teams
  4. Get a process consultant in to help you document the most important processes in your company in a way that makes it easy for everyone.
  5. Not everybody is comfortable asking for help or guidance. Share process through a search function or even seamlessly through automated workflows to ensure team members have access to the correct information when needed most. 

No one is productive 100% of the time, but there’s a way to enhance team productivity through systemizing process.

Bottom line? These documentation statistics should help you rethink your business

We shared a bunch of documentation statistics. So what? 

Ultimately, what we wanted to demonstrate is the massive impact a new way of working can have on your business.

It’s not just about organizing files; it’s about empowering your team members, maximizing their potential, and maximizing business results. By implementing effective documentation strategies, businesses can mitigate financial losses, enhance productivity, reduce environmental impact, and foster a culture of collaboration. 

With simple yet impactful measures, such as utilizing AI tools, automating processes, and fostering engaging documentation practices, businesses can unlock a new level of efficiency and success. Embrace the power of documentation and witness the transformation it brings to your business in 2024 and beyond.

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