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Role of the Business Information Professional
                                        November 2004
What We Are Covering Today

     Business Information Professionals

           Why are they needed?
             –    information is a key corporate asset

           What do they do?
             –    conceptual view of the role
             –    look at the core skills and tasks involved
             –    Wider skillbase - (X) factor
             –    Organisational contributions – impacting the bottom line

           Who are Business Information Professionals?
             –    example positions


    The role of the Business Information Professional is …

             to manage or assist in the management of one of their
                     employers most critical capital assets

Why Are They Needed?
- Business Research: What is it?

     "The procurement, management and packaging of data in order
         to provide a sound basis for corporate decision making"

     All business decisions need to be based on an informed understanding of the internal and external
      factors affecting the specific decision

     Businesses do not operate in a vacuum. Profitability is determined by numerous factors

     There is a need to quantify a businesses operating environment in its entirety leading to the requirement
      for tools which gather and present data in a useable format

Why Are They Needed? (cont.)
- Business Research: Why is it Required?

      Forms the basis of most corporate reports and presentations

      Is central to the formulation of government policy at a local, national and international level

      Can move or change markets in an instant

Why Are They Needed? (cont.)
- Business Research: Who Requires It?

     Anyone requiring knowledge of a business, sector or industry

     Including but not limited to:

            Investment Banks
            Solicitors
            Accountants
            Management Consultants
            Journalists
            Political parties
            Anti-globalisation campaigners
            Satirical comedians – "Mark Thomas“, “Michael Moore”

Why Are They Needed? (cont.)

                                                                        Source: Reuters

            Equities traded examining prices and checking background data

Why Are They Needed? (cont.)

    Who decides what                                 Who assesses whether
   information services                              the information on the
      the trader has?                                  screens is valid and

                                   The equity
                                 trader screens

                                Who manages the
                               flow of information
                                on those screens?

                    The Business Information Professional
What Do They/Should They Do?
- Overview of Business Information Role

     Individually or collectively as part of a team they are required to:

            identify an individual/department or organisation's information needs and requirements and
             ensure those needs are met
                –    identify, evaluate and procure any external information products
                –    ensure that internal data is properly controlled, circulate and ultimately exploited
                –    provide succinct, value-added research
                –    network well, motivate and communicate
                –    have a proper grasp and good understanding of technology
                –    understand corporate or organisational strategy

                       Develop and deliver an information strategy
Identifying Information Needs

     Information auditing:

            identifying information assets and building an information asset register
                –    you need to establish a starting point - do your homework!

            establish who key information users are (or could be)
                –    to do this you need an understanding of roles within the organisation

            pinpoint information deficiencies
               –    who needs what?

            map the information flow
              –    a graphical overview is a prerequisite

Identify, Evaluate and Procure External Information

     Know your sector!

     Identify and become familiar with the main information vendors and their product suites

                                      Reuters            LexisNexis          Bloomberg

     Constantly evaluate new products

            products change constantly

     Network with information vendors and peers to gain "inside track"

            what's not in the brochures

Ensure that Internal Data is Properly Controlled, Circulated
and Ultimately Exploited

      Data is an organisational resource from which maximum utility must be extracted

      Identify data silos

                             "We have to ask Accounts for that"

      Pinpoint dissemination bottlenecks

      Work with IT to create delivery platforms and overcome technical barriers

      Ensure buy-in from staff and HR to change/alter working practices to facilitate data sharing

Network Well, Motivate and Communicate

      "Information Management is airy fairy nonsense and of no
              relevance to my job on a day-to-day basis"

     Need buy-in from staff and management

            the Business Information Professional MUST be approachable

     They need to see an impact on their daily tasks - quick wins are vital

Have a Proper Grasp and Good Understanding of

     Delivery mechanism can enhance or degrade the quality of the information product

            E-Mail                                                    Web

             Imperative that correct delivery mechanism is used
                                              Paper                                      SMS

     IT department must be on-board and fully committed

             no IT department buy-in - no information delivery

Formulating Information Strategy

     Once needs have been defined and established

     Define solutions that will meet these needs:

            suggest external products

            refine or channel internal data stores

            deliver the solution through a usable and intuative interface

Formulating Information Strategy (cont.)

     Merge the various solutions into a coherent strategy

            meets the organisations needs - "avoid Ivory Tower syndrome"

            delivers what is needed, when it is needed and in the format that it is needed

            avoid information overload or deficit whilst keeping data timely

            understand where the data will be ultimately used

     The strategy must be presented as a vital component of the organisations overall strategy

            senior management must buy-in to the concept and champion it

Wider Skillbase – Consultancy?

        LIS skills although key are no longer sufficient in themselves.

               Example Task

  “Assess the need for a current awareness service for the marketing dept. and present your findings
                                              to the board”

                                                                     Business/Dept.   Presentation/Selling
       Analytical skills            Approachability
                                                                     Understanding           ability

         These are not core business information skills but are nevertheless becoming a requirement.

Wider Skillbase – Finance & Budgeting?

     LIS skills although key are no longer sufficient in themselves. - contd

            Example Task

        Compile an annual expenditure forecast for the information and research department?

      Know clients
                                                                  Assess demand
                                Review historical                                    Negotiate
   forthcoming needs                 data                                           information
     These are not core business information skills but are nevertheless becoming a requirement.

Wider Skillbase – Personnel?

       LIS skills although key are no longer sufficient in themselves. - contd

              Example Task

      Manage an integrated team of technologists, researchers, knowledge managers, librarians and
                                          temporary contractors
      Team building                  Motivation                          Focus        People mgt.

       These are not core business information skills but are nevertheless becoming a requirement.

Organisational contributions – impacting the bottom line

                                        Ensure corporate knowledge is utilised in an
   Knowledge co-ordinator              efficient and effective manner

   Corporate Documents Researcher      Ensure front-line staff have fast and efficient
                                        access to documents

   Market Data Services Manager        Deliver the most efficient and cost effective
                                        desktop research services

Nice but who are these Mythical People?

        Example Job Descriptions

             Position: Information Specialist
             Salary:   £Neg
             Location: London

                 A financial organisation requires an Information Specialist to join their Fixed Income Research
                  Centre. This is a key role and will involve providing research of the highest quality in the
                  most efficient and accurate way to ensure users can make critical informed investment
                  decisions. Responsibilities will include assisting information staff in identifying alternative
                  database sources; provide management direction and development; conceptualise data and
                  information; create and maintain information products; advise users on suitable materials for
                  research and perform sophisticated screening on financial data. You will be educated to degree
                  level with a minimum of seven years in a corporate information setting (of which three years
                  must be within a financial environment), have a sound knowledge of the Fixed Income Market
                  and be a self motivated, critical thinker who has a proven ability to work effectively with a wide
                  range of personalities in a fast paced environment.
  (Source TFPL)

Nice but who are these Mythical People? (cont.)

        Example Job Descriptions

             Position: KnowHow and Library Assistant
             Salary:   to £22k
             Location: London

                 This leading international law firm is currently seeking a KnowHow and Library Assistant for
                  their Capital Markets focused practice. This role has responsibility for the administration of
                  the knowledge and information systems for the lawyers and clients of this practice. The day
                  to day activity will centre on: KnowHow and documentation collation in hard-copy and online
                  format (cataloguing and filing of the results), external knowledge reviews (press and journal
                  scanning), the compilation of bulletins on legal and practice developments, and offering general
                  support to lawyers using the KnowHow and documentation systems. To apply you will be a
                  content and knowledge centred professional with experience of the demands of working in a
                  legal or aligned professional service environment

  (Source TFPL)

To Conclude

     Business Information requires management

           a business information professional fills this requirement

           it is a growing profession gaining increased recognition

      The chief information officer is now a main board position


  This presentation has been prepared by Kenneth Walker in a personal
  capacity for use by Napier University and not in his capacity as Research &
  Technology Manager of Intelli Corporate Finance Limited.

  The information contained in this presentation has been provided in order to
  provide a context and background to the subject discussed and any
  information products or organisations mentioned are included for illustrative
  purposes only and no inference should be drawn from their inclusion.

The Role of the Business Information Professional

                          Kenny Walker
                         Tel: 0131 222 9400
                        Fax: 0131 222 9444
                      Mobile: 07900 914184


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