Tim is an independent trainer in research and information skills, with over 40 years' experience in the information and research profession. He can provide training, advice and coaching to help researchers and information professionals add value to their work, particularly in the way they manage their desk research tasks and communicate with their users or clients during the research process.
He's also the author of the classic textbook "Successful Enquiry Answering Every Time". You can find details of his training services at www.buckleyowen.com.
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Articles by Tim Buckley Owen:
My Favourite Tipples from an enquiry answering expertThursday, 3rd November 2016
My Favourite Tipples are shared by veteran research & information skills trainer Tim Buckley Owen. The 7th edition of his book "Successful Enquiry Answering Every Time" is due out next year, and some of his favourite online resources come from the section devoted to "Choosing Your Toolkit".
Quiet Please! Running an Effective Training SessionFriday, 24th April 2015
Tim Buckley Owen draws on decades of training experience to highlight some key points to make training successful - including what needs to be considered on the day, in advance, and afterwards.
Slow Motion Train Crashes and How to Avoid Them - Tips for Terrified TrainersThursday, 23rd April 2015
Many people find the prospect of running a training course pretty scary - and sometimes with good reason. You may, for example, experience the feeling of a slow motion train crash as you realise that what you've prepared is too elementary for your audience. You may find that the demonstration that you planned so carefully inexplicably refuses to work. And what do you do when one of your course participants starts crying?
With many years' practice as a professional trainer, Tim Buckley Owen has experienced all of this and more. He also freely admits to having made most of his mistakes publicly, in front of paying punters. This, however, could make him well qualified to offer some pithy advice to apprehensive trainers on how to avoid the worst disasters and turn their training sessions into a really rewarding experience for the course participants - and for themselves.
Cloud Services - Not In the Cloud At AllThursday, 13th November 2014
Whatever their other differences, the United States and Russian authorities seem to be of one mind when it comes to the desire to poke around privately held data whenever they feel like it. Their approaches to penetrating the cloud may be different but the motives are the same. Europe, where big hitters like Microsoft and Salesforce are both planning data centre expansion, may be the gainer because of its generally tougher privacy laws. So for anyone responsible for commissioning or managing an organisation's cloud services, the soil on which those clouds rain is really starting to matter.
Security - How Far Can You Trust the Evidence, and What Can You Do?Friday, 7th November 2014
Whether it's retail fraud, security breaches that are inside jobs or lack of caution in implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), information professionals need to be circumspect when the evidence comes from organisations that also happen to provide solutions to the problems they highlight. But sometimes that evidence - on the extent to which employees are responsible for security risks, or the role played by mobile devices - indicates some degree of consensus. And when it's backed up by specific concerns expressed by government or regulatory bodies - about outsourcing for instance, or lack of awareness among small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), that's when info pros can sense an opportunity to be seized.
Analytics - Not As Far Behind As You Fear?Thursday, 6th November 2014
Contrary to popular belief, everyone probably isn't ahead of you in adopting big data. In fact most enterprises are still struggling, not least because they still seem to think that, with so much data at their disposal, they don't need to worry about every little flaw, and that technology will eliminate the need for data integration. Collecting stuff faster than they can sort it seems to be a key problem, and it can't be solved by exclusive reliance on data scientists. Old fashioned activities like taxonomy still have their role to play - and the competition regulators' interest in the few big data leaders suggests that the prize is well worth the effort.
Regulatory Compliance - From Chore to OpportunityWednesday, 29th October 2014
Regulatory compliance has long been the stock in trade of corporate information professionals, and the flow of regulation shows no sign of drying up. Recent European examples cover information provided by credit rating agencies, corporate disclosure of non-financial information, and even the use of Know Your Customer (KYC) due diligence to expose intellectual property infringements. In Britain, recent regulatory activity covers tax avoidance by multinational corporations and corporate disclosure of long term financial viability. Surprisingly, though, some leading businesses see compliance not as a burden but as a transformation opportunity - one that perhaps could be shared by astute information professionals.
Big Data Analytics - Useful, Yes, But Still Prone to HypeMonday, 8th September 2014
Big data analytics is now starting to prove its worth in many fields, including scientific research and criminal investigation as well as business and finance. But as it becomes more commoditised, and presented as neatly packaged solutions involving big names such as IBM, Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis, Tim Buckley Owen argues that information professionals must have the courage to pass on warnings when experts believe it’s becoming over-hyped. One recent warning suggests that the sheer number and complexity of predictive analytics tools used by financial institutions can make it difficult to monitor their performance or ensure they comply with regulations, and another counsels against uncritically accepting the concept of the data lake.
LinkedIn - Game Changer, But It's Not AloneFriday, 5th September 2014
LinkedIn may hitherto have facilitated the recruitment process rather than managing it. But it’s already proving a serious disruptor to the recruitment sector and there’s evidence to suggest that its ambitions go far further. However it is not alone; existing online recruitment services can be expected to fight back, and LinkedIn has some not so well known but possibly serious rivals.
Not Enough or Too Much? A Data Protection DilemmaMonday, 1st September 2014
Companies know that compromising privacy is bad for business, which is why Microsoft is challenging official disclosure demands in the United States courts. Meanwhile a United States congressional thinktank has concerns about the protection of personal financial records, and a British survey shows just how much customers will punish companies that play fast and loose with their data. But has the pendulum now swung too far in the privacy direction? One survey suggests that the protectionist barriers against digital trade could cause a measurable contraction in gross domestic product - but governments know that privacy wins votes.
Why Compliant Bosses Need Info Pros - Some Cautionary Compliance TalesTuesday, 26th August 2014
As the FreePint Topic Series: What You Need to Know Your Customer (KYC) continues, Tim Buckley Owen notes that there are special insights that information professionals can bring to this and other regulatory compliance challenges. Whether it's the Safe Harbor agreement, adverts for financial services generated automatically by search engine results, financial promotions in social media or regulatory authorities' encouragement of financial technology developments like Bitcoins, info pros should be able to offer a uniquely well informed perspective. And that's before you even consider ways of keeping the boss out of jail for not doing their due diligence properly...
The Internet of Things - Protect Your Wearable TechnologyMonday, 11th August 2014
Concerns about privacy and security where conventional mobile devices are concerned are being given greater urgency by the growth of wearable technology - the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). Regulatory authorities in Britain and the European Union are starting to take an interest, from both the data protection and intellectual property angles. But as Tim Buckley Owen discovers, related technological developments such as mobile wallets could threaten banks, and the control over your own big data that personal identity management can offer could expose the low value-add of much of the current credit rating marketplace.
Keeping Track of Your Data - Identifying the ThreatsTuesday, 5th August 2014
Plenty of self-serving reports from security specialists predict catastrophes to which they happen to provide solutions. But their findings can be useful nevertheless - for example in helping organisations decide whether they should be more worried about hackers or their own staff, or about traditional desktop machines as opposed to BYOD and mobile devices. Of particular interest, too, are some recent findings indicating that most organisations haven't a clue where their unstructured data resides. Plus the intriguing suggestion that what is going to matter in future is not where it is physically but its legal, political and - crucially - its logical location when several jurisdictions are involved. Information professionals with a compliance role should be licking their lips.
Are We Becoming Too Scared of Security to Benefit from Big Data?Thursday, 24th July 2014
Information assets are in the hands of the right people to safeguard them but the wrong people to manage their exploitation concludes an influential new study. As reports continue to emerge of apparent corporate paralysis in the face of cyber security threats, Tim Buckley Owen wonders whether the emphasis hasn't swung too far in that direction, and sees opportunities for information professionals in helping to strike a balance between security in the cloud and effective data analysis for competitive advantage.
Information Governance - Lots of Opportunities and Still Plenty To DoWednesday, 16th July 2014
New global rules on company financial reporting show that regulation and compliance continue to offer one of the best opportunities for information professionals and publishers. But the general move towards improved transparency highlights the accompanying need for much better record keeping, and new evidence suggests that, when it comes to information governance, many organisations still have a long way to go.
Official - You Don't Need Permission to Use the WebMonday, 14th July 2014
Just when it is OK to make use of content without the permission of the copyright holder? As one new service launches to help end users access the content they need and - crucially - let them know exactly what they may and may not do with it, a long-standing dispute over rights to news content seems to have come to an end. It may seem pretty obvious that you don't need the permission of the copyright holder for what you view online, but a new European Court ruling seems to have established the principle once and for all.
Big Data Analytics - Are There Still Things that the Software Can't Do?Thursday, 10th July 2014
Where big data is concerned, bosses increasingly prefer relevant insights over simply more of them. As new analytical products continue to appear, technology has its part to play - but a new book from a perhaps unexpected source makes clear that it's the humans who need to have the last word. One blogger's insights into the war in Syria demonstrate the effectiveness of employing brain power to engage in open source intelligence using social media forensics. And you also have to wonder whether it's unduly optimistic to assume that sentiment analytics software will be up to the job yet of detecting sarcasm.
News - Less and Less Safe?Wednesday, 9th July 2014
Recent revelations that one search engine is already removing links to news in response to the European Court's "right to be forgotten" ruling, and that a major social media provider has been conducting an emotional impact experiment by tinkering with users' feeds, raise important issues about the integrity of news. As another study reveals that journalists are now more likely to source news from social media and less likely to check it - despite its known unreliability - there are new challenges for information professionals in how they source and disseminate news within their own organisations, and how they encourage end-users to evaluate it.
Privileged Users and Threats to Confidential DataTuesday, 10th June 2014
One of the biggest risks of corporate data theft comes from privileged insiders looking at stuff they shouldn't - sometimes out of simple curiosity. As ever, technology is only part of the solution; so too is having a proper access policy and monitoring staff behaviour. With a growing number of people having their personal data compromised, United States officials are calling for a proper system of data breach notification. Meanwhile Britain (which supposedly has one already) is worried that most organisations keep their worst breaches secret. They may not be too bothered about fines, Britain's privacy boss says - but they are worried about their reputation.
Right To Be Forgotten - Good News for Info Pros?Friday, 23rd May 2014
In a ruling that has provoked widespread astonishment, the European Court of Justice has held that individuals can require Google and other search engines to remove links to information about them that they regard as inadequate or no longer relevant. In the debate between free speech and absence of censorship on the one hand, and personal privacy and data protection on the other, Tim Buckley Owen argues that the ruling could represent an opportunity for information professionals. It could demonstrate their value as the experts on specialist research sources and techniques that don't rely on generic search engines, as well as enhancing their regulatory compliance role.
We're All Hackers NowThursday, 22nd May 2014
Reviewing another crop of scary reports on the risks of cyber attack, Tim Buckley Owen finds once again that not all the solutions are technological ones. There does seem to be a severe shortage of people with data science skills, but the range of possible attacks with which they might have to deal can be described in just nine patterns - and in any case human error remains the biggest single cause of IT disruption to business. With issues such as reputation management to consider, and the arrival of a new tool to help enterprises calculate the cost of cyber attacks, there are plenty of opportunities for info pros to establish their niche in this rapidly growing field.
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Reports by Tim Buckley Owen:
FreePint Report: Content and ComplianceMonday, 18th February 2013
Tim Buckley Owen reviews the recent FreePint articles on the theme of content and compliance and mulls over the signficant role that information professionals can play in ensuring that their organisation's current and historic information is easily discoverable. There are also opportunities for...
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