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By Robin Neidorf

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Is your information service stuck in transactional mode or operating at strategic level? Jinfo's director of research, Robin Neidorf, highlights the telltale signs of reactive mode and key traits of successful information centres.


Are you planning and executing on strategy, or are you stuck in transactions?

Last week I conducted two intake interviews to provide basic benchmarking on the visibility and value of source expertise. Although both interviews were with information managers in mid-sized organisations in the financial industry, the results could not have contrasted more:

In the first interview, I was deeply impressed by the degree to which this manager was able to define and execute on information strategy, with the full support of senior leadership in her organisation. Although leaders don't always understand her domain expertise, they trust her to make sound recommendations.

As a result, she has appropriate influence over and access to key projects in usability and data analytics, and her small team of information professionals has the appropriate balance of work - responding to queries but also dedicating time to high-value projects that benefit the entire firm.

In the second interview, I learned that the information manager struggles to gain visibility for source expertise and tends to be stuck in a transactional, reactive mode. In this organisation leadership still thinks about information as a fixed resource requiring limited skills to manage and interact with.

This manager knows that a whole world of opportunity is emerging in the development of data tools and making information more accessible and intuitive to end users. But she and her team are barely keeping ahead of current contracts, vendor relations and query management. There is no time to step back and assess risk and opportunity, and make sensible recommendations. And if there were, would anyone listen?

This study in contrasts demonstrates the full spectrum of information strategy. The best information centres and services:

  • Maximise the strengths of their positioning in the business, whether they report to IT, R&D, central services, or some other configuration
  • Have access to the most senior leadership, who value them for their unique expertise around information sources, technology and value
  • Cultivate and deepen formal and informal relationships with key departments - IT, finance, data analytics, human resources, and risk management
  • Articulate clearly the role of information strategy in the success of the business and can easily name the gaps between their vision and the current environment.

That's what we at Jinfo aim to help every information manager accomplish. That's what drives our research and editorial planning for articles, reports and webinars. That's how we shape Community sessions and design the activities and discussions therein. 

As for Consulting services? This is where we customise an approach to moving you from transactions to strategy, placing information services at the heart of the organisation's future.

Recent Subscription Content of particular interest to our customers involved with information strategy: 



Webinars - recordings available to view for anyone with a Jinfo Subscription


Upcoming research and events

The Research Focus, "Content and technology for current awareness" runs from July-September and encompasses three months of research, reports, webinars and Community sessions examining the challenging area of comprehensive and effective current awareness provision.

The Research Focus, "Data analytics - ready your information service" will run from October - December and offers practical insight on strategic positioning of your expertise within the burgeoning world of data analytics.


Community sessions:

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