Ever-larger quantities of information are being produced by companies and government agencies as they embrace “Enterprise 2.0”, an emphasis on better collaboration and increased use of enterprise social software. Enterprise social software has delivered significant rewards in the form of cheaper and faster information flow, improved collaboration and enhanced productivity. However, with those rewards come attendant information risk. Managing the downside of enterprise social software should be a critical component of any return on investment calculation.
One way to address the problem of information risk is in better use of analytics. Employing tools that treat information as a critical asset is a crucial way to improve the return on information investment. Analytics should be able to identify not just individual information, but also:
- groupings of similar concepts
- look for things like duplicates or near duplicates
- identify connections/relationships among authors, viewers etc;
- highlight old, irrelevant or expired content
- flag policy violations
- highlight workflow bottlenecks
- identify the experts on topics and skills within a company
- illustrate who ‘owns’ data
Analytics provide the ‘information about information’ needed to manage information assets effectively and reduce the information risk associated with enterprise social software. In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, information and ‘how we do it around here’ forms a considerable part of the value of an organisation. Increasingly, that information is both unstructured and resident on multiple, rapidly changing web technologies. To put it another way, the core competence of an organisation, the skills and techniques that deliver value for the customer are increasingly mediated through enterprise social software.
In the past, information risk was managed by the same army of clerks who carefully recorded, saved and managed a company’s records. They stayed with the organisation long enough to provide a memory of where those records were kept and how they were interconnected. In its most recent incarnation, that army of clerks has been replaced by Microsoft Sharepoint, Jive, Yammer, Salesforce Chatter and IBM Connections. But the army of clerks still provides us with a useful metaphor for actively managing organisational records.
Thought-leading organisations are increasingly looking to extract greater value from the information they have and to reduce the risk associated with keeping that information. Proactive management of information requires tools beyond simple reports or search tools. It requires the comprehensive analysis of the information stock, the ability to manage across multiple platforms, across multiple time horizons and the analytical capability to look beyond simple data sets to look at ownership, flows and deviation from standard policies. Guarding information from improper access or use begins with an understanding of what the proper use of information looks like.
If you’d like to know more about how Hanzo Archives has helped organisations deal with the challenges of enterprise social software and the power of analytics to deliver superior return on information investment, please get in touch.