I was doing research for a white paper and ran across a story from InformationWeek magazine that referenced a survey conducted last month by Accenture. More than a thousand middle managers of large companies in the U.S. and U.K. responded to questions around the way they gather, use and analyze information.
The results were alarming, if not altogether surprising, and the headline apropos: “Managers Say the Majority of Information Obtained for Their Work is Useless.” Some key takeaways:
• Managers spend up to two hours a day searching for information, and more the half of it has no value to them (this echoes the finding of a survey done for knowledge workers by IDC a couple of years ago).
• 59% miss valuable information that exists in their company as a result of poor information distribution.
• 42% say they accidentally use the wrong information at least once a week.
• 45% said gathering information about what other parts of their company are doing is a big challenge (only 31% said the same is true for their competitors).
• 57% say that having to go to numerous sources to compile information is a difficult aspect of managing information for their jobs.
Am I here to say that if all of these companies were using Enterprise 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis and RSS feeds that none of them would feel this way? No, of course not. There have been many, many, many stories that talk about why people, culture and training have a huge impact on creating and/or solving problems.
However, I will tell you that Enterprise 2.0 technologies are a great place to start. Look at Enterprise RSS alone. At NewsGator, we have a large number of customers with managers who have expressed the same sentiments as the survey respondents but found that Enterprise RSS solutions helped them directly attack some of those problems. The publish-and-subscribe model dramatically reduces the search/multiple sites problem (first and last bullets above) and the fact that it helps move traffic away from the e-mail inbox to somewhere more easily accessible and less-cluttered significantly reduces the likelihood of missing valuable content or using the wrong information.
I’m planning to cover some of this in my white paper, but in the meantime, we cover some of these topics in our regular series of educational Webinars. Sign up here.
Director of Marketing