Unlocking the value of your information
How we can efficiently find and use information within our organisations?
As volumes of information increase within our organisation, so too does the problem of finding this information and using it meaningfully.
Research tells us that a typical information worker now spends up to 25% of their day searching for the right information to complete a given task.
Recently we held an interactive Intergen Twilight seminar, as part of our THINK event series, on this very issue. We talked with the audience about their specific challenges with information. How important is it, and why? How long does it take to find? How much information is duplicated? Where does it live? How do people share it? And what about informal information, the kind that passes from person to person at the water cooler?
If one key picture emerged from the event it was that, regardless of specifics, we’re all in the same boat, facing the same informational barriers to effectiveness in our working lives.
We even played a game of pin the tail on the donkey to illustrate the predicament. Take a handful of multi-coloured ‘tails’ and place them on your donkey. Don a blindfold and then attempt to systematically retrieve the colour-coded tails. At root, the process of information finding in most organisations is not dissimilar to pin the tail on the donkey. But what do we do about it?
Some factoids to illustrate the magnitude of the problem:
- 1,500,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of new information were posted to the internet last year
- Information on the net is doubling every week
- There are 3,000,000,000 Google searches conducted every day
- Typically information loses its value over time, but continues to live within an organisation despite its redundancy. With an integrated investment in information management and enterprise search tools, information can retain its value for longer, and the right information can be found more easily.
To many, the word ‘search’ has become synonymous with Google. But Google in itself doesn’t address the problem. Sure, keyword-based results will be returned in droves, but how do you guarantee that you’re accessing the best and most accurate information, especially when so much of this information is buried?
Similarly, the implementation of enterprise search tools requires much more than just an install-and-go approach; a symbiotic information management commitment and taxonomy must be entered into in order for organisational accessibility to take true effect over time.
Steve Lapwood is a Senior Management Consultant in Intergen’s Management Consulting team, and Henk Verhoeven is Intergen’s Chief Solutions Architect. If you’d like to talk more with Steve or Henk about information management strategies, please email them.