Supporting the value of information in your enterprise

FreePint BlogCategorically delivering information value

Wednesday, 4th April 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Michelle Manafy


When it comes to return on information investments, there nothing more satisfying than seeing resources used. Oh sure, we'd all like some sort of tacit-value-ticker that made a cheerful chime every time a member of staff has an ah-ha moment or a bit of data generates a lot of revenue.


When it comes to return on information investments, there nothing more satisfying than seeing resources used. Oh sure, we'd all like some sort of tacit-value-ticker that made a cheerful chime every time a member of staff has an ah-ha moment or a bit of data generates a lot of revenue. Short of this mythical measurement tool, usage remains one of the few reliable baselines for the value of information resources.

Yet as we saw in our recent FreePint Research Report: Information Governance Policies and Priorities, raising user awareness of resources remains a high priority – and significant challenge – in many organisations. It is something we think a whole lot about here at FreePint, about our own resources.

For our premium subscribers, ensuring they are aware of the resources that will be of most help is one of the best ways to deliver clear value. For other readers, surfacing the free and premium resources we offer reinforces our role in the information value chain. And in both cases, we want to keep you coming back for more!

Our latest effort on the information discovery front is the development and launch of FreePint Categories. This was a tricky project for us because, let's face it, there are a whole lot of different people who use our information about information resources. We considered "job roles" as a way to divide things, for example, but there so many different types of workers involved in research alone that we couldn't begin to list them all. Thus, we opted for the term “Functional Areas”. Not a pretty moniker, perhaps, but when you explore the list, you should recognise the kind of knowledge work that you either do yourself, or support within your organisation.

It was slightly easier to define the other type of category, “Industry Topics”, as we see patterns in general content themes emerge. To help you keep up with the vast amount of resources we publish every week, each category has an associated RSS feed, so that you can create alerts and more easily discover the content that fits your specific needs.

The challenges we face in supporting a wide range of knowledge workers in their information discovery and usage are shared by our readers. This became quite clear to me when I was reading our FUMSI Report: Folio on Information Sharing. As guest editor Lynn Strand-Meyer, Market Intelligence Lead for FICO, pointed out, her team services clients "across the globe and across the organisation – from sales and marketing to research scientists and the legal and finance teams".

And as Lynn so wisely writes, "We strive to provide the information, turn the information into knowledge, and get it to people who need it most". While she was speaking about information managers, she could have just as easily have been describing our work here at FreePint.

I look forward to your feedback on FreePint Categories. Let's put the right information to work to generate the return on information investments we are all looking for.



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Michelle Manafy is the senior editor of Min, which publishes the Media Industry Newsletter — the go-to resources for advertising data, news, deals, trends and personnel moves shaping the consumer magazine publishing industry — and hosts the industry's premier events and awards programs. Previously, Michelle held the position of Editor-in-chief at Free Pint Limited, a global publisher of sites, research and resources that support the value of information in the enterprise. Prior to joining FreePint, Michelle served as the Editorial Director of the Enterprise Group for Information Today, Inc. where she was editor of EContent Magazine and chair of the Buying & Selling eContent Conference and Enterprise Search Summits. She is the co-editor of and a contributor to the book Dancing With Digital Natives: Staying in Step With the Generation That's Transforming the Way Business is Done (May 2011, CyberAge Books). An award-winning columnist, Michelle's focus is on emerging trends in digital content and how they shape successful business practices. She speaks at a variety of industry events and serves as a judge for content and technology competitions. She has worked in book and magazine publishing for more than 20 years in areas ranging from pop culture to academic nonfiction and holds a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University.

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Sources: Staying informed and aware
Technology: Improving information work with technology
Value: Maximising value for information work and investment
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