Research Highlights Challenges and Opportunities Facing Modern Info Pros
Can you communicate and demonstrate your value, facilitate decision making, and proactively integrate into your organization? Research conducted by SLA in conjunction with the Financial Times shows that executives rate these as both the most important attributes for modern information professionals and also the areas where they are most likely to fall short.
“No longer data gatekeepers, information professionals must work hard to demonstrate their value in new ways,” the research report concludes. “Doing this means making a fundamental shift from isolated, technical expert to multi-skilled team member, enabling decisions and proactively integrating into the organization.”
The report, The Evolving Value of Information Management, lists 5 “essential attributes” for modern information professionals and 12 tasks. The essential attributes are as follows:
- Communicate your value;
- Understand the drivers;
- Manage the process;
- Keep up on technical skills; and
- Provide decision-ready information.
The 12 tasks for modern info pros are as follows:
- Understand the business. Develop a deep understanding of why a certain individual wants information, be aware of how it is used, and try to anticipate business needs.
- Deliver decision-ready information, be the solution to information overload, and don’t be afraid to provide your own view. Show how you add value in the way you combine, analyze, and deliver information.
- Actively communicate with your colleagues across the organization. Never hide away in a silo, and provide a dialogue, not a transaction.
- Link your work to savings and profits at every opportunity. Make the value of information more quantifiable and clearly linked to the activity of the business.
- Link your work to risk mitigation at every opportunity. In particular, highlight the risks of relying on Google and free information services.
- Proactively create solutions for the business. Never let yourself sit passively and respond to requests.
- Build relationships with key stakeholders. Integrate yourself as deeply as possible into the business.
- Be a technical mastermind. Learn new useful skills every week, explore new technologies, and show off your capabilities.
- Go to the top. Ensure that senior leaders see your value-adding efforts and become your advocates, instructing their teams to use your services rather than free information sources.
- Walk the floors. Keep your finger on the pulse of the organization and seek out new opportunities to make a contribution.
- Pursue initiatives that reduce the burden of stretched resources. Build self-service access points, make better use of existing libraries, and follow up the usage of your deliverables with an eye to reducing what you provided (saving time on both sides).
- Change your mindset. Look to your users as more than your colleagues—they are your clients or customers. Treat them as such by going the extra mile to help them.
The Evolving Value of Information Management is available free to SLA members. Click here to download the report.
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