A transition for the 21st century - the past, present & future in information management

January 01, 1970 by Rebecca Gillingham

In a recent survey conducted by LexisNexis, we asked 500 people working in information services how they felt their role had changed since the digital revolution. This blog is the third in a series where we contemplate the findings from the survey. Here we highlight the challenges of information overload.

As we saw in our previous post, today’s information managers are under intense pressure. The unprecedented volumes of data and ever expanding number of sources are the chief causes of concern today. So what of the future? Can we expect more of the same?

There's more data coming

Information overloadThe short answer is yes. Our survey found the overwhelming majority of information managers expect data volumes – and challenges – to increase. Sources will continue to proliferate. Big data and social networking data will become commonly used to inform decision-making in both customer-facing and back office operations.

As sources and volumes increase, information managers expect to come under more pressure to analyse and communicate this insight more quickly – and more widely – across the business. There is recognition that information managers must find new ways of presenting data e.g. through dashboards and visualisations. And they also expect to spend more time with colleagues to help them understand the results of their research. There is an underlying worry that this will use up precious time that our information managers insist they do not have. 60% of respondents say they barely have enough time to ‘scan’ the data themselves.

Hardly surprising then that the survey pool expects technology to play an even greater role in making information management and distribution more efficient. And it’s not just new presentation formats. The information sector looks set to enter a world of voice search, cross data validation and other technologies – increasing efficiencies and enhancing the information manager’s ability to deliver timely insight.

The importance of technology

The survey also highlights the growing significance and importance of the Internet. There is an expectation that more information will be available on online, but much of that will be locked behind paywalls. Similarly, the use of smartphones and tablets are anticipated to become the norm and help drive new ways of accessing and presenting data.

Finally, roles will change. Having already moved from information facilitators to analysts, information managers believe they will leave their silos to play an increasingly active, and more strategic, role across the business. The increased emphasis on communication skills and understanding the commercial environment will help to accelerate this evolution.

If you have found this article thought-provoking, you might be interested in our final blog in this series where we will look at the lessons learned and the best practises available to help professionals respond to their changing world.

Click here to download a copy of the Past, Present & Future of Information Management report.