Get a clear picture of information investments
Wednesday, 6th June 2012
There are so many intangibles in information work that it can be incredibly challenging to evaluate the efficacy of our efforts. How rare and lovely are those moments when you can point to an information resource that resulted in clear business advantage? What's needed is a good basis for comparison on information investment and resources, but it's very difficult to come by.
We all want to believe that we are doing good work. Work is hard and we want to see it pay off. Yet there are so many intangibles in information work that it can be incredibly challenging to evaluate the efficacy of our efforts. How rare and lovely are those moments when you can point to an information resource that resulted in clear business advantage?
What's needed is a good basis for comparison on information investment and resources, but it's very difficult to come by. Companies generally keep this information pretty protected. I find it painfully ironic that one reason many organisations cite for their unwillingness to open their information-resources kimono is "competitive advantage". Right, so information strategy does provide strategic value. Er, well, not so much at budget allocation time...
Without a doubt, we can all benefit from knowledge of best practises, standards and a basis for comparison of our allocation of resources to others in our field. As an information community, we continually strive to work together in ways that are complementary rather then competitive so that all boats rise. It is with this in mind that FreePint Research has been hard at work to create and test a methodology for benchmarking information services. We are examining how organisations deliver information services in terms of staffing, project priorities and budget.
I took a peek at some of the preliminary results and already a number of interesting insights are emerging. One tough statistic to see is the ratio of library staff to fee earners in law firms. In small organisations, it is about 1:60. In large law firms, with more than 500 fee earners, the ratio is about 1:75. While the numbers may not be altogether surprising, when you consider that the legal field is one in which the notion of "fee earner" is clearest, imagine what the numbers and aggregated insights will reveal in other sectors.
Thus far, the research has been heavily weighted to the legal sector, as we've already published the FreePint Research Report: Benchmarking on UK Law Firm Information Products and Priorities. However, we have moved into the next phase of research in which we look at a wide range of other industries, include financial, pharmaceutical, energy, manufacturing and professional services, among others.
Are you ready to participate? When you complete our online form, “How can FreePint help?”, tick the box to indicate your interest in participating.
If your organisation matches the criteria we’re looking for, and we'll contact you to set up a confidential interview. You'll receive a copy of the results as a thank you. Not only will they allow you to see how you stack up, but these results provide solid data that enable you to better make a case for investments in information staff and resources.
Across industries, we can already see that are a several competing priorities at work. End user training averages very high, though averages don't tell the whole story. Upon closer inspection, early results reveal that intranets are of high import, with a focus on better information architecture so that information resources can be effectively located and put to work. Intranet content improvement also ranks fairly high as does information governance.
There is more to information value than simply buying the best content – though that remains important and challenging. Enabling end users to locate quality information easily within the context of their workflow and then empowering them to use it effectively requires wise investments in tools and education. If you are in the market to invest some time in your education on these topics, FreePint is hosting a free webinar in partnership with the Content Division the SIIA and the SLA on 28 June that will help content buyers and sellers better understand their mutual customer: the end user.
We can all benefit from a greater understanding of information resource investment and how to better serve those end users. We hope you'll contribute your insights by indicating your interest in participating in FreePint Research and we look forward to continuing to support information ROI.
- Blog post title: Get a clear picture of information investments
- Link to this page
- View printable version
- Intranet management strategies and resources
Tuesday, 10th April 2012
- Value metrics pricing: Pricing based on basic multiples
Tuesday, 3rd April 2012
"I never before fully appreciated the role the information service plays in R&D productivity and innovation. This isn't something that benefits our department; this is something that benefits the whole of R&D."
You can make the impact of information on successful R&D visible and measurable, with Value Chain analysis.
Let us help you map Jinfo's Focus areas to your particular challenges with information strategy and operations.
- Gain confidence and trust through new vocabulary
Wednesday, 13th October 2021
- Manage your content portfolio for risk
Monday, 11th October 2021
- Is your content advisory board primed for strategy in 2022?
Thursday, 7th October 2021
- Centre of Excellence (step five - your evolution work plan)
Wednesday, 11th August 2021
- Centre of Excellence (step four - assess your team’s characteristics)
Tuesday, 22nd June 2021
- Centre of Excellence (step three - envision your Known Fors)
Thursday, 10th June 2021
- Community deck - teeing up value-based budget conversations for content licensing
Thursday, 30th September 2021
- Community deck - Centre of Excellence - make progress on your evolution, with your peers
Friday, 23rd July 2021
- Community deck - Centre of Excellence - examples of Pillars of Service and Known Fors
Wednesday, 23rd June 2021
- Investment philosophies for strategic portfolio management (Community) Thursday, 2nd December 2021
- Negotiation role-play for content licensing professionals (Community) Thursday, 7th October 2021
- Teeing up value-based budget conversations for content licensing (Community) Tuesday, 21st September 2021
- Value Chain (step five - putting the Value Chain together) (Webinar) Tuesday, 31st August 2021
- Value Chain (step four - measurement - selecting and collecting data) (Webinar) Monday, 30th August 2021
- Value Chain (step three - your contributions to the Value Chain) (Webinar) Friday, 27th August 2021
Our proven processes, resources and guidance will help your team make the shift from transaction centre to strategic asset.
Designed around the most common challenges and pain points for time- and resource-strapped information teams
A tailored overview of our research and active discussion with your Jinfo analyst.
Measure your starting point to articulate your strengths and set priorities for future improvements. Assessments gauge risk, capacity, value and more.
Read case studies, and start the conversation: