Guest Post: Is “13” Really A Scary Number? If you’re a Knowledge Worker it is!!


Joe Kroog, IHS

This guest post is by Joe Kroog, Sr. Mgr, Product Marketing of IHS. IHS presented an SLA PartnerTalk on Wednesday, November 6th. Listen to the recording or learn more about IHS.

“13” is TERRIFYING. Especially if you are a corporate librarian, researcher or other technical professional trying to ensure you and your team are utilizing the knowledge available to you to the fullest.

Outsell recently discovered a 13% increase in engineers’ time spent search for information since 2002.  This statistic initially confused me. How could it be that engineers are spending more time looking for information now than in 2002 – the web has exploded; so much information is online like most of the publications I used to read in print; there are fantastic knowledge bases now available; and supposedly search engines keep getting better at producing results.

But, then it hit me like a Texas Tornado. More data + more data + more data = INFORMATION OVERLOAD. There is so much more information out there and accessible today, that it is overwhelming to say the least. And despite how much we rely on Internet Search Engines to get us information, it takes longer, frustratingly longer, to sort through consumer crap to the real technical information that is buried within the 1,780,000 results Google offers. More isn’t always better.

Here’s another SCARY stat that caught my eye – Aberdeen states in a recent study that up to 13 unique data sources are used to find answers to each engineering challenge. That’s one search for standards, a separate search for formulas in eBooks, yet another search in internal knowledge databases, not to mention Google … you get my point.  Each search is unique partly because of the data but equally as important the differences from one search engine to the next. More data + more data + more data = INFORMATION OVERLOAD.

And to compound the issue, todays new wave of technical professionals are losing a huge portion of the #1 trusted source of knowledge – their peers. Did you know that according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics ( that 50% of the engineering workforce is eligible for retirement in 2015 (that’s 13 months away!!!)

See … “13” can be TERRIFYING and costly:

-          13% increase in engineers’ time spent searching for information

-          13 unique data sources used to address an engineering challenge

-          13 months away from 50% of the engineering workforce eligible to retire

There are alternatives. Listen to the SLA PartnerTalk webcast “Engineering Research Unified with IHS Knowledge Collections” on November 6 from 11:30 – 12:30 ET to learn more about these and other scary statistics and one alternative worth considering.

Thank you

Joe Kroog

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