The 4 characteristics of successful information professionals

July 20, 2015 by Megan Burnside

Today's information professionals play a critical role in managing the endless stream of information generated in a fragmented media landscape. The challenge lies in curating and analysing this mass of data to provide meaningful insights that can be shared across the organisation. Here we discuss the most important characteristics of the successful information professional.

1 - Evolving from provider to consultant

Over the past 5 years there has been a shift in the responsibilities of the knowledge manager from simply procuring and providing information to the organisation to a more consultative role. Information managers must now play a more active role analysing news content to provide actionable insights to meet businesses strategic goals.

2 - Managing the explosion in data sources

The sheer volume and frequency of new news sources and content means that information overload is a very real issue. Now in addition to traditional media types such as newspapers, business publications and company data, online sources and social media must be aggregated and managed. As a consequence of this explosion of data sources with more information available online, there is a greater need to ensure the quality of that information.

We've conceptualised these content types by grouping them in a pyramid to represent the media landscape.  From the highly processed and low volume 'industry and country reports' to the high volume, transient content types such as social media.

chartSocial media is by nature high volume and high frequency content. It has not been created with a research purpose in mind, but simply to inform or entertain. This poses a challenge for information professionals in analysing the vast quantities of unstructured data.

3 - Providing strategic services to the organisation

In a shift that has seen the knowledge manager play a more consultative role within the organisation, we have seen that responsibilities now include:

  • Analysing a diverse range of content from different media channels
  • Providing industry and role-focused content that is personalised to the individual or company
  • Conducting anticipatory research. For example Conducting industry and competitor analysis or understanding legislative challenges that could be looming on the horizon.
  • Aligning the analytic tools to the organisational goals
  • An emphasis on systems not tasks

4 - Using dashboards and analytics tools

The ability to quickly analyse and identify trends, changes and topics in large volumes is now essential for information professionals. Dashboards and analytics tools have become the critical insight providing layer for this.

Dashboards allow users to search and track relevant news across different content types, also saving time on compliance due to our carefully curated content which has been managed to include content licenses and distribution rights. The development of the analytics dashboard also enables you to identify trends in news quicker through visualization tools. Lastly you have the option to stay informed with real-time alerts and newsletters across your enterprise.

If you're interested in this topic why not watch our webinar "Media Intelligence - Finding Meaning in the Mass with Analytics and Data-visualisation".