Do you know where you information is? What about the quality of your information – is it of a high standard? Should you baseline your information assets?
I think organisations should baseline their information assets however getting executive buy for this task can be tricky. An information baseline can be defined as the current state of;
- What information is being used
- How information is being used
- When information is being used
- Why information is being used
Sometimes a perception exists that baseline reviews add little to no benefit, taking focus away from establishing the future environment. This perception can be short-sighted – outcomes achievable through such reviews include;
- Measuring the quality of information
- Establishing information accessibility
- Identification and location of information repositories
- The level of compliance with information governance including policies, procedures, standards etc.
- Operational work practices
- Identifying process issues
There are many articles on the internet that will tell you it’s important to baseline your information. Yet, trying to find how to do this effectively is challenging.
In establishing the current state it’s important to use relevant measures. Whilst these would obviously include quantitative analysis (such as duplication of information), qualitative reviews such as staff opinions are also crucial.
Quantitative analysis can involve executing scans of information repositories to establish:
- Number of duplicate records
- Use of metadata
- How information repositories are being used and who is using them
Staff perceptions of their roles in creating and managing information is an intrinsic component in establishing your baseline. One of the most effective methods of collating these perceptions is to conduct staff interviews using a standard set of questions.
The results will enable you to establish the good, the bad and the ugly of information management.