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By Robin Neidorf

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Abstract

Key pointers from Jinfo's current awareness research to help you make your service truly strategic.

Item

The provision of current awareness is a core service for the majority of the information teams we work with. Yet few managers take a truly strategic view to determine:

  • What's the measurable value to internal stakeholders?
  • Is this value reflected in the investment of time by the information team?
  • Does the system (content, technology, workflow) best meet the needs of the organisation?

When we conducted the survey on current awareness in 2017, we documented two key datapoints we'd never surfaced before:

  1. Respondents reported that their current systems were an average of six years old
  2. The data provided by respondents demonstrated that, on average, over 8% of team capacity is being spent on provision of this service.

From a strategic perspective, both of these datapoints offer cause for concern. Technology supporting current awareness - and user expectations - have evolved dramatically since 2011. And 8% of human resource is a significant investment; we need a good framework for measuring and managing the value.

Smart information leaders have an intuitive sense of what's valuable to their organisations. Yet they need to be able to report more than intuition. How do we get at this elusive ROI?

 

Focus on technology

Break down the current awareness system to see exactly where and how technology builds value. We comment on this process in Insight 1 from the Research Focus. When you walk through each step of capturing, collecting, organising and disseminating current awareness, you can better document the investments you and your team put into each step and describe the delivered value.

 

Map influence

Next, map the influence that current awareness service provision has in every aspect of the business: sales, customer service, product development, competitive intelligence, risk management and so on. It's rare to be able to draw solid lines between any given internal newsletter and a sale made or risk averted, but you can document the overall knowledge environment to which current awareness contributes, and thus delivers value.

 

Why bother?

It's easy to let current awareness systems run, without analysing them every two to three years. "If it ain't broke..." is the unspoken motto. But scratch the surface, and there's nearly always productivity gains to be made, technology improvements to leverage and content sets to discover or eliminate. If you haven't done so in more than two years, we believe you're overdue.

If you have a Jinfo Subscription, you can sign in now to download the "Insights and Actions" report for this Research Focus. Then register for upcoming webinars and Community sessions to deepen your investigation and discuss these challenges with your peer group.

If you don't yet have a subscription, request a free copy of this report today... then start your Jinfo subscription, to gain full access to the resources in this Research Focus, and more.

 

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

Articles:

Reports and reviews:

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

 

Current and upcoming research and events:

The current Research Focus, "Define and manage value for current awareness", runs from October through December. Get immediate value by requesting a copy of the "Insights & Actions" report, which provides our top insights plus a thematic index to resources. Explore the insights in greater detail with the webinars (Jinfo Subscription required) and Community sessions (Community access required):

Webinars:

Community sessions (online teleconferences):

Other Community sessions taking place in the coming months:

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