In an era when access to information can be the difference between profits and losses, managing how your business utilizes data is paramount for efficiency, security, and strategy. Information organization attempts to use all available pieces of data for a business or an organization’s goals, ensuring that the necessary individuals will be able to access and utilize information in the course of their work.
Six Essential Elements of Organization
In general, information management is broken down into six individual, but interconnected, activities that need to be streamlined and optimized.
- Identifying information deficits and needs across departments
- Creating or acquiring information
- Identifying or analyzing available data
- Filing or organizing material
- Gaining secure access to information
- Implementing content into everyday use
The central idea to information organization is that the data held within a business’ four walls and on their network servers is no less valuable than their workers and financial resources. As such, keeping hold and monitoring information is no less important than the tasks of human resources and accounting. The same management needed for activities and organizations, such as creating goals, policies, training, and evaluation, can also be applied to successful information management.
Advantages of Information Organization
Over the long term, proper management of data should see your business lower its operational costs, minimize risk, and create new value to services. Any organization of information that is haphazard or poorly planned out risks the loss of time, money, and effort from a company.
Paperwork Reduction Act
The federal government enacted a Paperwork Reduction Act in 1995 in an attempt to create more electronic data and reduce the cost and operations of maintaining information on paper records. This information organization led to government offices creating digital records, including Internet records, which could be accessed from any employee on any network terminal without needing to draw upon physical information from archives and records.
Here are some case studies on the importance of information management…
Merck and Glexo
When pharmaceutical company Merck and Glexo needs to test out new drugs, it is crucial for several departments across the company to have access to the data flowing back and forth between trials, research, discovery, and management approval. This information can drastically change the scope or course of a project, and keeping one part of the company in the dark can have major repercussions. Their open servers minimize risk of error, as several different departments and projects can communicate with one another without delay or confusion.
For companies that generate massive amounts of data on an hourly basis, being able to store and access old records in the blink of an eye requires organizing massive computing power. Retail giant Amazon.com not only needs to balance inventory against customer shopping, which in itself is a massive task, but also to utilize new information about customer activity in order to optimize sales. Their online servers store trillions of bits of information, organized so that customers can purchase an item with a click of a button on one hand while their affiliate programs can run scripts that reach new markets on the other. The vast circles of data that Amazon’s servers must run also must be safely encrypted. They organize their information to add value to existing products and services, allowing them to lower the cost of online shopping drastically.
In order to create value through information organization, American Airlines revolutionized the way that people purchase tickets. Their Sabre system created reservations rather than straightforward ticket sales, allowing it to be possible to book trips with greater margins of error for customers, so that plans could be more flexible in the event of accidents or errors. This organizational flexing of information created huge value for the company.
Information organization is a crucial step when building a business to ensure the safety of vital data, allow clear communication, and to keep a business ordered and running smoothly.
About the Author: Ryan Ayers is a writer and blogger in relation to the field of business. This article was designed to explain the importance of information organization and to promote continued study in this field with a Bachelor Degree in Health Information Management.