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Information Management. What’s that?

Posted by Charles on 07-14-2004 @ 05:25 AM in • Opinion

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Information Management is the handling of the communication or reception of knowledge, intelligence, or data; typically obtained through investigation, study, or instruction.

Sometimes it’s ensuring compliance with governmental regulation.

Everybody has a database

Even if you don’t know that you do, chances are that you use a database everyday. If you use any of the following applications, you are using a database:
Accounting
Address Book
Content Management System
Customer List
Customer Relationship
Enterprise Resource Planning
Knowledge Base
QS-9000 Documentation
Telephone List
The collection of files stored on your computer is a database. A database is a filing cabinet. Inside of the filing cabinet are folders, inside the folders are more folders, and inside of those are various pieces of documentation, each containing various types of data.
A database is a storage cabinet for your data

Data are any facts, numbers, or text that can be processed by a computer. Organizations accumulate vast and growing amounts of data in different formats and different databases. This includes:
operational or transactional data such as, sales, cost, inventory, payroll, and accounting
nonoperational data, such as industry sales, forecast data, and macro economic data
meta data - data about the data itself, such as logical database design or data dictionary (see schema) definitions
Data provides Information

The patterns, associations, or relationships among all this data can provide information. Management of Information consists of several tasks:
Data Entry is the act of entering information into your system via a keyboard.
Data Collection, similar to data entry, is entering data into your system - but instead of manually typing it in through a keyboard, the data is collected from other sources using several different technologies including scanning, downloading, and radio frequency.
Data Publication is the organization and distribution of the data collected. You may publish your data in various formats - including hard copy reports, PDF files, websites, and even email.
Data Mining (or Data Analysis) is the process of analyzing data from different perspectives and summarizing it into useful information - information that can be used to increase revenue, cuts costs, or both.
Data Reorganization is moving, deleting, archiving, restructuring, and optimizing your data to minimize the storage requirements of the data and to enable you to quickly find what you are looking for.
Issues are raised by manipulation of data

Issues raised by the manipulation of your data are:
The issue of individual privacy; data analysis makes it possible to analyze routine business transactions and glean a significant amount of personal information from the data analyzed.
The issue of data integrity; data analysis can only be as good as the data that is being analyzed. A key implementation challenge is integrating conflicting or redundant data from different sources. For example, you may maintain your address book in a variety of databases, the addresses (or even the names) of a single person may be different in each one of the databases. You either need software to translate it, or a person to verify it.
The issue of security; with the growth of the internet, all of our computers are connected to each other now. We’ve become one big client/server network. If your system isn’t adequately protected, others can get into it.
The issue of finding what you are looking for!! With the volume of data that we retain on our computer systems, it’s easy to misplace information - or even delete it - and you always know that you made a mistake the second that you press that

key.
And then there is the computer system itself. How long can you get by if your computer system is down? Do you have a contingency plan for downtime? A disaster recovery plan?
In Summary

We can help you to manage your information to address these issues. That’s what we do, Information Management.

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