Wider Horizons For Information Audit

HorizonIt’s a paradox of our time that the more information that organisations create or consume, the less they understand it. Specifically, most organisations don’t know what information they’ve got, where it came from, where it is stored, who owns it, how good it is (in terms of accuracy and relevance), and perhaps most importantly, what value it may have, if any. More often than not it’s only when there has been an unauthorised leakage of information, or when wrong information has been published that “management” sit up and take notice. In today’s litigious society, such mistakes can be expensive (just ask the BBC, in relation to the Jimmy Savile saga, or Rotherham Borough Council as a result of the child grooming scandal).

It is perhaps timely, therefore, to revisit some well established information management practices that address this particular facet of information governance, namely the Information Audit.

Pause here for a definition of which there are a number:

From a business point of view, an Information Audit might be the…..

“Analysis and evaluation of an organization’s information system (manual and/or computerised) to detect and rectify blockages, duplication, and leakage of information. The objectives of the audit are to improve accuracy, relevance, security and timeliness of the recorded information.”

(Source: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/information-audit.html#ixzz3GVqKkkAu)

Another definition for Information Audit, established by the Aslib IRM Network in London, has won acceptance by information professionals, information scientists and the academic community, and states that:

“The Information Audit is a systematic examination of information use, resources and flows, with a verification by reference to both people and existing documents, in order to establish the extent to which they are contributing to an organisation’s objectives”.

As part of its mission to encourage learning and sharing of good/best practice amongst knowledge and information professionals, NetIKX is running a seminar on 4th November on the topic “Wider Horizons For Information Audit”.

Sue Henczel, an internationally renowned expert on Information Audit, with support from Graham Robertson (Bracken Associates), will present and lead discussions on the evolution of the information audit process, the various ways that it is now being used within organisations and how this evolution of information audit aligns with the changes that are occurring within both the information profession and the broader business information management environment. A number of case studies will describe how the IA process has recently been used in Australia.

The intended learning outcomes of this NetIKX seminar are:

  • Recognising the current evolution of the information audit;
  • Accepting information audit as an enterprise information management tool; and
  • Understanding the alignment between the evolution of the information audit process and the information management profession.

More details and a booking form are available from the NetIKX website. The event is free to NetIKX members.

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About Steve Dale

Stephen Dale is both an evangelist and practitioner in the use of Web 2.0 technologies and Social Media applications to support personal development and knowledge sharing. He has a deep understanding of how systems and technology can be used to support learning and facilitate smarter working, where connections and conversations are the key to self-development and creativity within the organisation.
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