Skills needed by RIM professionals

Iron Mountain and AIIM have published a study, What will it take to be a NextGen InfoPro?, which discusses the skills and knowledge that Records and Information Management (RIM) professionals need to manage information resources. A survey was conducted in May 2015 amongst 264 individual members of the AIIM community. Invitations to take the survey were sent via email to a selection of AIIM’s 80,000 registered individuals. 61% of the respondents are from North America and 21% from Europe, covering a representative spread of various industry sectors.The study concludes that over the next 3-5 years:

  • The most sought-after capabilities for RIM professionals are accessibility (53%), including the use of mobile devices, data-quality management, data cleansing, and migration (49%), followed by information security and access control (42%).
  • Content and records management will be the focus for 40% of organizations over the next several years: 39% of respondents cited business process management, and 31% see information and capture as their main focus.
  • 52% of respondents want RIM professionals who can translate business requirements into the more tactical side of implementation: 46% see compliance skills as having the greatest impact on content management projects; and 45% want RIM professionals to assign value to information and data.
  • 32% of respondents cited taxonomy and metadata design as the greatest technical skill set for their organizations, followed by information security and process analysis (30% each), and 29% application and process integration.
  • The demand for technical knowledge centres on information security systems and procedures for 68% of respondents, but they said technology alone is not enough when it comes to protecting corporate information assets. 60% cite enterprise content management, document management, and records management systems knowledge as critical, while 53% want mobile device usage skills.
  • Organizational expectations are broad and include soft skills like innovative thinking (70%); in addition, change management (70%) and relationship management that include internal and external parties are now part of a skill set expected of information professionals.

The study recommends the following:

As the NextGen InfoPro, you must learn about and formulate your views on various information management and governance topics like data analytics and how your organization must balance risk-related requirements with the broader usage of data for competitive advantage. You should develop a set of options addressing why or why not to keep all information, and how to identify and dispose of information considered to be ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial). Find ways to automate as many information management tasks as possible, leveraging business unit workflows and technology. As a NextGen InfoPro consider taking the following steps:

  • Assess your internal expertise and identify and fill the gaps.
  • Seek out SMEs in your industry, professional associations, and vendor communities to serve as a mentor and resource.
  • Identify new or emerging technologies and assess how they will enhance your operations.
  • Assess the needs and requirements to fully support the mobile workforce. n Campaign for a change in job title away from “Records Manager” to “Information Manager”, “Knowledge Manager” or “Director of Information Governance and Exploitation.”
  • Engage with your organization and demonstrate the value you provide.
  • And lastly, position yourself to take a primary role in forming your organization’s information management strategy.


The new era of global data flows

This post discusses the highlights of the McKinsey Global Institute report, Digital globalization: The new era of global flows. The report finds that:

The world is more connected than ever, but the nature of its connections has changed in a fundamental way. The amount of cross-border bandwidth that is used has grown 45 times larger since 2005. It is projected to increase by an additional nine times over the next five years as flows of information, searches, communication, video, transactions, and intracompany traffic continue to surge. In addition to transmitting valuable streams of information and ideas in their own right, data flows enable the movement of goods, services, finance, and people. Virtually every type of cross-border transaction now has a digital componentTrade was once largely confined to advanced economies and their large multinational companies. Today, a more digital form of globalization has opened the door to developing countries, to small companies and start-ups, and to billions of individuals.



Dealing with outliers

This post by Lisa Morgan discusses how to deal with data outliers in a Big Data environment. The management of outliers is valuable in any environment, of course, as it’s important to understand how to put outliers in the proper perspective. I have seen all too often a lot of attention paid to outliers (for example, in student evaluation of teaching), which can lead to a skewed understanding of what the entire corpus of data reveals. While Morgan argues that outliers should not be dismissed, it’s importance to not given them more value than they merit. I know, for example, how easy it is for instructors to fixate on one student comment, normally when it is of a critical nature, rather than focus on the general pattern that is revealed by the data as a whole. One needs to be careful to not spend a lot of energy  addressing outliers at the expense of the whole picture, especially since in some cases, no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot meet everyone’s needs all the time.

Records management and information governance

This post by Dan Braude discusses the importance of records management to proper information governance. Baude argues that:

Poor records management gives rise to substantial risk. This includes adverse litigation consequences from preservation failures, regulatory fines deriving from compliance breaches, negative impact on business needs, loss of sensitive business information, and, in the event of a data breach, business continuity concerns and violation of privacy laws with related reputational damage. By some measures and as found in a recent study by the Ponemon Institute, the cost per lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information exceeds $150. While there is no question that organizations should take steps to enhance their information security practices, the surefire method of avoiding unauthorized access to data and minimizing many of the above-mentioned risks, is to avoid storing data in the first place.

Of course, records and information management (RIM) professionals know this already, but it’s important that they explain clearly to senior management the direct link between records management and information governance. Baude’s column provides a useful summary of the key points that RIM professionals could use to further strengthen corporate understanding of the importance of their work to information governance.

Women in data science and Big Data

Posted on April 14, 2016

This post highlights the successes of 12 women in the still male-dominated areas data science and Big Data.The women are all based in the United States; it’s unclear whether other countries were examined.

  1. Karen Matthys, Executive Director for external partners at the Stanford Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering.
  2. Jill Dyche, VP SAS Best Practices at SAS Institute
  3. Yanbing Li, VP and GM of Storage and Availability at VMware
  4. Jana Eggers, CEO at Nara Logics
  5. Megan Price, Executive Director at Human Rights Data Analysis Group
  6. Neha Narkhede, Cofounder and CTO at Confluent
  7. Amy O’Connor, Big Data Evangelist at Cloudera
  8. Monica Rogati, Equity Partner, Data Collective at Advisor, Insight Data Science
  9. Jennifer Tour Chayes, Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director at Microsoft Research
  10. Caitlin Smallwood, VP, Science and Algorithms at Netflix
  11. Carrie Grimes, Distinguished Engineer at Google
  12. Kelly Thompson, SVP, Global Category Development and Merchandise Solutions at Wal-Mart eCommerce

The reinvention of the information manager

A recent study by AIIM, as summarized in this post, shows that by 2020, employers expect their records and information managers to be competent in risk management, with security and data privacy skills a priority for 50%. They must also show competence in content and information management across a wide range of formats and platforms (47%); and in data analytics (44%). Further, employers want records and information professionals to identify new opportunities for efficient information management and to be able to support colleagues through times of disruptive change, such as a merger, acquisition or divestiture.

The study challenges information management professionals to find ways to help people do their jobs better, rather than focus on telling people how they must comply to regulations.