The information management academy awards

Cinema projection of a boxing match (image library reference: COPY 1/149 (267) )

Cinema projection of a boxing match (image library reference: COPY 1/149 (267) )

Whilst reading through the usual barrage of Oscar-related articles and gossip recently, on who won or who didn’t and who made a splash on the night, it struck me that there might be a few messages that we can relate to information management. I’ve picked four of my favourites:

The low budget winner

The relatively low cost film, Dallas Buyers Club, proves that you don’t have to spend big to have success. The same goes for information management, you don’t always have to throw a lot of money at it to make it work. For example:

  • rather than spending a lot of money on new technical solutions which may not be appropriate for your organisation, you should start with a clear idea of your business requirements. That way you can focus on only procuring systems that genuinely support the way your organisation needs to use its information, which will certainly increase efficiency and often save money too
  • it is also possible to build good information management into business-as-usual policies and processes within your organisation. Getting things right doesn’t necessarily mean creating new teams and employing new staff

The ‘selfie’ that crashed Twitter

We’ve probably all seen that somewhat cringeworthy celebrity Oscar night ‘selfie’ that briefly crashed Twitter. This just reminds us of the power of social media which is increasingly being used within UK government. You need to remember that:

  • information posted onto social media sites qualifies as a public record and should be managed as such
  • when surveying the information that your organisation holds you should look across all digital systems including social media websites
  • where information posted on social media is of business, legal or historical value then you need to put in place measures to ensure that this information is kept for as long as it is required and/or can be transferred to The National Archives

The ‘Cumberbomb’

Just like Benedict Cumberbatch, who amusingly infiltrated a photo of the band U2, we information managers should be making sure that people take notice of us and our message. I’m not suggesting that you all crash the boardroom, but you can gain support for your work by demonstrating to your organisation the benefits that good information management can bring and the risks to the organisation if information is not managed appropriately. It is particularly important to link up with your colleagues in IT, information assurance and out in business areas and to try and speak (or at least understand) their language.

Get a Horse!

In this Disney animation (nominated for best animated short) Mickey and friends alternate between traditional animation and the modern world to rescue Minnie from the dastardly Peg-Leg Pete. It is the same story for your digital information, which can very easily become lost or inaccessible as time goes by. Technology changes rapidly and the hardware, software or storage media that we were using 15-20 years ago would qualify as museum pieces now. Most organisations have ageing digital information stored within ageing technology. You need to take steps to ensure that you can find, open, work with, understand and trust your information for as long as you need to.

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