Robin Neidorf Insight 1 from Research Focus - the "right" model can be a lot of things
Jinfo Blog

Friday, 7th July 2017

By Robin Neidorf


In the first of the insights from Jinfo's Research Focus "Benchmark information roles – optimise your structure", Jinfo's director of research, Robin Neidorf, looks at what the most successful models of information service have in common.


Benchmark information roles - optimise your structureJinfo's first insight in our Research Focus, "Benchmark information roles - optimise your structure", is that a wide variety of models for structure are possible and can be the "right" one to place information expertise at the heart of business operations.

This observation seems at first to fly in the face of the goal of benchmarking - to establish the norms of success. But our research tells us that information expertise can be centralised or decentralised, and successfully placed in a number of areas of the business - research & development (R&D), IT, business development, procurement...

What is consistent, however, is that the most successful environments have a clear home for strategy and implementation of the following elements of information expertise somewhere in the business:

  • Content purchasing and licensing
  • Knowledge management
  • Research services (whether expert-provided or self-service)
  • Data analytics.

What's more, these functions, regardless of where they sit, collaborate effectively with each other towards shared goals.

Get a sense of what this means through Figure 1, which shows how likely information services are to house these functions, depending on where the department reports.

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Figure 1

The rows show different placements for information expertise within the organisations covered by our benchmarking research. A blue tick mark indicates that the information role named in the column is likely to be part of that department or function; an orange tick mark indicates that the role is sometimes part of that department or function.

Compare your environment to the benchmark:

  • Are you making the most of what fits well in your structure?
  • Do the "sometimes" roles sit with you or elsewhere?
  • What kinds of formal and informal connections do you have or can you create to set and strengthen a core information strategy for the business?

Give up the search for the "right" structure to get the most value from information services. Instead, use our research to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your particular configuration and how to optimise it through activating the right partnerships and shared goals with other parts of the business.

Get started right away: leverage Jinfo's research and experience

Free: key insights

The main lessons learned in this three-month Research Focus, plus a thematic index to all content published, are listed in the "Insights and Actions" report for the Research Focus, "Benchmark information roles - optimise your structure".

Non-subscribers: request a free copy by registering your interest.

Subscribers: sign in now to download your copy and access all premium content.


The content in the current Research Focus, "Benchmark information roles - optimise your structure", presents and analyses the many ways organisations may be structured, where information roles are based and how to connect the areas of expertise to make the structure work. Your Jinfo Subscription provides access to these items.

Use these items from the Research Focus for specific guidance (paid subscription):

The following webinars will also be useful (paid subscription):


Join your peer group in Jinfo Community sessions to work on these issues (paid subscription, with Community option included):


Jinfo Consulting is working with customers today to assess and optimise the strengths of their structure by activating connections between areas of information expertise. Contact us to learn how we can help you.

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