In the modern business world, information is one of a company’s most valuable assets. By gathering as much information as you can on your business, on the processes that happen within and everything else related to it, you’ll significantly boost the likelihood of reaching success. But unless that information is relevant, easily accessible, and up to date, you won’t really have much use of it. Businesses that manage to excel at information management can easily stand out from the competition.
Since both information excess and information shortage can be really detrimental for your business, any organization looking to grow and expand should implement a proper information management strategy.
However, before we dive deeper into exploring the best ways to improve your information management, we must first see what information management is and why it is so important for businesses.
WHAT IS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT?
Simply put, information management is a process of gathering, analyzing, classifying, contextualizing, and storing data relevant to your organization. All of this information has a single purpose, and that’s to support the organization’s needs.
Now, since all data has a certain life cycle, meaning that it becomes virtually useless after a certain period of time, data deletion is another part of proper information management.
Moreover, proper information management will enable people in your organization to quickly and easily find the information they’re looking for. This, in turn, will significantly streamline your organization’s operations and make it work more efficiently.
WHY IS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT?
As mentioned earlier, information management will help your organization streamline its processes and thus boost its efficiency.
For instance, according to research, when looking for a particular piece of information, an average worker is only able to locate it about 56% of the time. On top of that, the worker will spend about 36% of their time simply looking for that information.
That being said, it becomes quite clear why proper information management is simply vital. Any business or organization can benefit from implementing it.
Additionally, it’s also important to note that since we live in the Information Age, the information you manage to gather and organize may be used for so much more than simply boosting your own organization’s efficiency.
Information can also be traded with other organizations and used as an invaluable asset in times of need.
WHAT ARE THE FIVE BASIC STEPS OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENT?
When talking about information management, it’s worth mentioning that there are five basic steps involved in this process. They include information input, classification, management, storage, and output.
- Information input – boils down to gathering all relevant information from various sources regarding various things.
- Information classification – involves analyzing all of the gathered information and classifying it accordingly. Since not all the information will be useful for your business, it’s important to organize it to determine what’s useful and what’s not more easily.
- Information management – this is the actual process of managing information, which includes – but is not limited to – business process management, record management, license management, content management, and so on.
- Storage – all the information that’s gathered, analyzed, and classified also needs to be properly stored for ease of use. By obtaining a reliable information management tool and finding a good storage provider, you’ll ensure that all the right people have easy access to the right information.
- Information output – whenever information is being sent out, that’s considered information output.
With this said, it’s time to see the five steps that will help your organization better manage its information.
UNDERSTAND THE POTENTIAL OF YOUR INFORMATION
The Information Age we live in truly earned its name. Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of information are produced on a daily basis.
It’s safe to say that your organization is most likely sitting on a gold mine of information regarding your clients, customers, your own operational effectiveness, and so on.
All of these pieces of information hold a great potential to improve your operation organization-wide and bring increased value to your customers.
All of the information you manage to gather will help you better understand and anticipate your customers’ needs, analyze their behavior, and identify various other opportunities for business growth.
PUT TOGETHER AN INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TEAM
The technology you use to gather, organize and manage your information makes only a part of the complete picture.
Just like it’s important to use proper tools, it’s arguably as important to assemble the right team to manage it.
An information management team is something every business needs to have within its ranks. This team should comprise skillful and trained individuals who will help your information management efforts reach their full potential.
Needless to say, since the information you’ve gathered is one of your biggest assets, you need to make sure that your information management team is made of trustworthy, responsible, and reliable individuals.
COMPLY WITH INFORMATION PRIVACY REGULATIONS
Moreover, information and data security need to be the top priority of any organization that gathers any type of data.
So you need to make sure you comply with Global Data Privacy Regulations. This way, you’ll ensure that all of the information you have is properly secured and safe from any unauthorized third-party breach, theft, misuse, or any other mishandling.
Since data and information security has been a burning topic for quite some time now, you need to make sure you do all in your power to protect it properly. Otherwise, you run the risk of putting your organization in an unfavorable position. Not just with your audience but with potential partners as well.
SECURE YOUR INFORMATION
Along the same lines, you don’t only need to comply with the Global Data Privacy Regulations. You also need to make sure every piece of information in your organization is absolutely safe and well-secured.
In this day and age, where hackers, viruses, and ransomware make some of the best-known threats, you must find a way to secure your data effectively.
Aside from the outside threats, you also need to protect your information from potential threats within your organization. That’s why you need to ensure that you limit access to any information that can potentially get stolen or misused.
On top of that, you should also prioritize data backup in case anything happens to go wrong despite your efforts.
TURN INFORMATION MANAGEMENT INTO PROFIT
We’ve already mentioned that with the right information management in place, you can easily identify various opportunities that will enable you to improve your overall operations.
So, simply put, you can use your information management to boost your profit. How, you may ask?
Simple; analyze your information and pay special attention to your key performance indicators (KPI). You’ll be able to determine the tangible areas of your entire operation that bring the most profit in.
You’ll also be able to pinpoint other areas that are either not performing as well or that are entirely underperforming. Then, choose the necessary course of action that will enable you to modify and perfect them.
No matter how efficient and successful your organization is, there’s always room for improvement. And with the right information management in place, you’ll be able to boost your efficiency to a whole new level.
That’s why it’s important to improve your organization’s information management and prepare for the growth that’s sure to follow.