Carine Research

Overloaded & underwhelmed

Feb. 21st | Posted by 2 comments

In 2014, professions are focusing on value, according to the recent results of the BRW/Beaton Client Choice Awards.   

The BRW/Beaton Client Choice Awards are a major review of the perceptions of over 41,000 clients engaging with Australian professional service firms in management consulting, law, accounting and consulting engineering.

Within organisations, information professionals have the same concerns about how their services are valued by their colleagues.

To get a better understanding of the evolving value of information management, the Financial Times and Special Libraries Association sought comments from over 90 senior executives who were frequent information users, along with 700 information professionals working as information providers.

The executives and information professionals worked across a wide range of sectors, including legal, education, financial services, engineering, government, non-profit organisations, consulting, consumer healthcare, and IT.

Contrasting view of adding value
The FT / SLA report revealed that only 34% of senior executives (information users) considered that the information professionals added a lot of value.

By contrast, 55% of the information professionals thought they added a lot of value to the service they provide to their senior executive heavy information using colleagues.

There were also striking differences in how the executives rated the information professionals in terms of their communication, understanding the needs of internal key people, and providing decision ready information. The info professionals thought they performed better in each of these areas, than the executives rated their skills.

Overloaded & relevancy of information
Interestingly, the top three challenges for the senior executives (information users) were:
#1 information overload
#2 filtering / sifting through information found
# 3 relevancy of information.

Information professionals top 3 challenges
In stark contrast, the top three challenges for information professionals were:
#1 the trend for information users to self-service on the internet
#2 demonstrating their value to the business
#3 financial constraints.

Clearly, there is work to be done with information professionals improving their communication, understanding information needs, providing information in the way that information users want to consume their information and addressing the information challenges of executives.

In 2014 and beyond there are significant challenges ahead for information professionals and information vendors to improve their communication and service delivery, and countering the perceived value of information professional expertise.


2 comments Add a comment

  1. The differences in perception revealed by the FT/SLA research are startling and should provoke a good deal of soul-searching on the part of information providers of all kinds. As an information professional myself what strikes me is that both lists of challenges ring true. I see item 2 in the information providers list connecting directly to all three items in the information users list.

    Thanks so much for posting this!

  2. […] information users overwhelmed with information overload, and needing to sift through too much irrelevant material to find a few nuggets of insight, the […]

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