In today’s time, information is more important and valuable than any other precious material. The purpose of this paper is to examine and assess how much value can be added to an organization’s working with data audits. A knowledge audit is instrumental in determining the information assets of the business. It is different on various levels from an information audit which is more concerned with the process of information disbursal and communication. Information can be considered crucial for an organization primarily because they identify the capacity of the company to transform into a learning organization.
An organization can never be sure what information would be useful and required, & nibs, but it can be prepared by implementing an effective data management strategy which can reveal the opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses of the business. Although conducting such an audit involves an initial investment and expense, the long term returns of this investment more than compensate for it. For medium sized and large sized organizations, information audit should be done at least once in every five to seven years to evaluate information management strategies. (Robertson J, 2002)
In her article, Susan Henczel has written about the effectiveness and importance of information audit. In writing about information resources, she has said that gaps and inconsistencies are observed between the different resources. This statement can be validated with the fact that the main resources concerned with information and data are humans, with whom one has to associate such errors are semantic errors, disruptions in the communication process and also lack of the proper interpretation. Also, difference in the attitude of employees and their acceptance of information and experience also plays a part in the creation of information gaps and inconsistencies. In the light of these arguments, it can be said that Susan Henczel has made a valid point in her article.
In the two articles two models have been discussed – one is focused on information audit while the other is focused on data audit. In my current company, a data audit would be more suitable since it would be useful in bringing together the data resources and assets and in putting together a more effective information management strategy. Since this is a marketing business, information and data are the main resources that are dealt in. While an information audit would be helpful in improving the overall process of sharing information with concerned and interested persons or parties, a data audit would provide valuable insight into internal improvement of management strategies.
Through a data audit, the management would be able to create a road map of information that exists within the company that would help in revealing the gaps and duplication areas. It would also enable the company to prepare an inventory of information assets which would be extremely helpful in planning strategies, knowledge management initiatives and programs. For an organization like mine, customers play the centric part since the campaigns and communication plans are developed for them. Leveraging of customer information would also be possible with this design that would add to the efficiency of the business and its operations. Of the steps involved in the process of this plan, the last step of information mapping would be beneficial in all the departments of the company for better role clarity, specific job objectives and better understanding of roles and responsibilities. In this manner, the data audit would be more suitable for my business. (Schwikkard D B and du Toit A S A, 2004)
Robertson J (2002), “Benefits of a KM Framework”, http://www.intranetjournal.com/
articles/200207/se_07_31_02a.html (accessed January 12, 2002).
Schwikkard D B and du Toit A S A (2004), “Analyzing Knowledge Requirements:
A Case Study," Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 56, No. 2, pp. 104-111.