Information audits

Information services need to develop continually in order to be effective and efficient and to meet users' changing needs.  It is also important to step back occasionally and take a broad view of the whole service in order to ensure that it is meeting the business objectives.

What is an information audit?

  • An information audit or review is, in essence, a health-check of your service.
  • It examines the state of the service by looking at the information provided, the way which it is managed and shared and identifying the barriers and enablers which prevent or promote access to information.
  • By examining these factors in conjunction with the objectives of the organisation, a set of achievable and practical solutions are recommended which can then be implemented in a planned and productive way.

An audit can:

  • Cover the whole organisation or a small unit.
  • Address one issue such as the need to increase access to electronic resources or a review of the content of the intranet.
  • Address the operation of the whole service.
  • Use survey techniques - interviews, questionnaires or focus groups.
  • Examine 'soft' issues - how people communicate and share information.
  • Include the production of a detailed register of sources of information available, including electronic resources.

The key steps in undertaking an audit

  • Understanding the business objectives and policies of the organisation.
  • Obtaining and analysing existing data on performance.
  • Reviewing the existing ways in which the service operates and is used.
  • Finding out users' needs as well as their perceptions about the service.
  • Exploring the way information is handled, stored and shared.
  • Developing a strategy and a set of objectives for the new service.
  • Producing and prioritising recommendations.

Encompassing the whole of the audit process is the need to include all stakeholders throughout the process, taking into account the culture and working practices of the organisation.

SD information Services can discuss your issues with you and can then plan and undertake the audit.  Costs and time required depend on the scope and extent of the audit.

Please contact us for a confidential discussion on your requirements.

Training and workshops

SD Information Services holds one-day workshops on topics related to information services.  These are held on the client's site and can therefore be tailored to clients' specific needs.


Management Issues

"Me... Sell?"

"Users think Google will solve all their information needs and don't need us."

"Some staff don't even know where the library is."

These are a few comments from information staff in organisations that demonstrate the need to change the way information services are managed.

New ways of working

Changes in the way in which people access and share information put a new type of pressure on the information professional. No longer are they custodians of information and the source of expertise in complex searches and retrieval of information.

In a networked business environment and a Web2.0 environment where information creation and delivery is collaborative, instant, and often ephemeral, information professionals have to change their roles to that of facilitators, advisors and trainers.

Marketing the service

This new way in which information professional perceive themselves and are perceived by users involves a behavioural and cultural change.  The additional skills required such as marketing and promotion are often alien to some and resistance to adopting these new ways of working is common.

Knowledge management

Knowledge management adds an extra dimension to the picture by incorporating tacit knowledge - experience and expertise of individuals and creating a sharing and learning culture.  Again the necessity to embrace different ways of working and to promote these within the organisation falls into the lap of the information professional.

SD Information Services has many years' experience in the management of staff and service functions and can help by working with staff to address these difficult issues.  Mentoring and coaching of staff in order to address specific problems can also be undertaken.

Please contact us for a confidential discussion on your requirements.