Sophie Alexander Practical action on Jinfo's Research Focus, from a research information manager
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By Sophie Alexander


We interview a Jinfo Subscriber, a research information manager in financial services, to find out what they found most valuable about the Research Focus, "Data analytics - ready your information service", and how it's affected their thinking and future plans.


Data analytics - ready your information service

We recently spoke to a research information manager in financial services, to find out what they found most valuable about Jinfo's Research Focus "Data analytics - ready your information service", and what practical steps they took as a result of it.


Jinfo: What did you find most valuable about the Research Focus?

Information manager: The most valuable piece for me was the idea that information professionals already have the skill set to be a player in this space.

I thought some of the insight pieces that discussed information professionals' experiences in negotiating information contracts demonstrated the ease with which this skill can be transferred to examining data and how people are using data internally. These skills give us a reason to have a seat at the table for these types of projects.

Jinfo: How did it affect your thinking?

Information manager: It made me think differently about the way we represent ourselves internally. In the day-to-day, we don't often step back and recognise what our real expertise is.

We go through the process of negotiating content and seat licence deals, but we don't often use these opportunities to demonstrate our source knowledge and our deep understanding of the information industry. Jinfo's research made me think more tactically about finding opportunities where we can demonstrate a deeper knowledge of data.

It also forced me to assess how our group engages with other data groups in the company. We need to reach out regularly to these other teams to form stronger partnerships. They have a real expertise in data analytics, but they can't get that far if they aren't able to identify potential data sources to assess for various projects.

If they are looking for news data, for example, they may lack the familiarity with the vendor landscape to know who the key players are in that space and how their content sets may differ. We can play a role there.


Jinfo: What will be the practical next steps?

Information manager:  I'm focused on two things this year:

  • One is to proactively reach out to leaders in data teams in the company to better market our expertise.
  • Secondly, I want to build from the data inventory we conducted last year. We need to dig deeper and figure out who, in our existing portfolio of services, offers data feeds of their content and how we could actually tap into the content via a data feed rather than a traditional seat licence.

We're also trying to pull people who think about information and data together onto a committee. This will help us coordinate and communicate a little more effectively across the company.  


Jinfo: How does Jinfo content help you to raise awareness of your information centre's expertise?

Information manager: Over the last year, we've done a lot to assess our strategic outlook. We need to change the way that we talk about ourselves internally. Jinfo materials have been extremely helpful in making us think a little more critically about how we sell the value asset we bring to the company. My whole team has access to the research and we do pull things out and discuss them at staff meetings. The checklists and templates are particularly helpful.

The thing I find most valuable about the Jinfo research pieces is that they're highly relevant to what we're working on and our current concerns. Even compared to the other information consultant type players in the market, we find that Jinfo speaks with our voice. It's clear that Jinfo understands exactly where we come from within an organisation.


Jinfo: How does Jinfo content help you to save money (for example by streamlining processes, saving money on procurement)

Information manager: I use Jinfo to examine reviews on different vendors. By identifying competitors, we can come to a negotiation with a vendor more prepared and knowledgeable about options in a space.

I also like My Favourite Tipples which lists free resources on the web. I inevitably find a couple of things that I wasn't familiar with or, maybe it was something I was familiar with, but somebody presented a new way of using it. Those types of tools save us time and money.


Jinfo: How does Jinfo content help you to stay ahead of the curve on technology developments?

Information manager: It keeps us informed about different tools in the market. I really liked some of the pieces on data visualisation in early 2016.

We've been looking at tools like Tableau, for example (reviewed by Jinfo). We look to Jinfo to get a sense of how other people in other corporate information centres are using tools like that. Sometimes we find a great article that identifies another tool that may play in the same space but is easier to use or perhaps less expensive.

The main lessons learned from this three-month Research Focus, plus a thematic index to all content published, are included in the report Insights and Actions from the Research Focus "Data analytics - ready your information service"visit the Research Focus page to get your copy.

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