WORKPLACEINFORMATION The exponential growth of data permeating businesses places them under enormous pressure to store, protect, distribute and archive records to meet all legal and accountability requirements. Management that fails to meet all regulations faces potential fines, penalties and legal problems (including personal liability in some cases), as well as bad press and the resultant loss of business profitability.
Metadata Metadata is structured information that relates to the how, when, where and why a record is created. This information includes the file name, reference number, keywords, retention, disposal, author and workflow of a document. With paper based systems, the capturing of this information is quite easy; however, the ability to ensure digital records are captured, maintained, retained, preserved or destroyed according to legal and organisational requirements requires great cooperation between all sections of an organisation.
Types of information The success of a business depends on its ability to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time. Failure to do so can impact negatively on customer experiences, employee productivity and profitability. One of the difficulties faced by managers is trying to categorise the different types of information. This is further complicated by the fact that there are, to date, no internationally agreed definitions available. Two generally accepted categories are: knowledge management and information management.
Knowledge management Knowledge management is the organisation’s framework for designing and implementing procedures and practices that are used to identify, collect and distribute knowledge so that people can do their jobs effectively. This knowledge is categorised into two areas: explicit and tacit knowledge.
Explicit and Tacit Explicit knowledge is knowledge that can be documented in electronic or written format, stored and archived as evidence of business activity Tacit knowledge is the ‘know how’ knowledge that is stored in the minds of employees, contractors or other business representatives. Look at the diagram now on page 176. Read by yourself
Information management Once knowledge has been turned into information, the next step is managing that information. This incorporates accessing, processing and controlling documents to ensure their accuracy and usability, so they create value both for the business and its customers.
Information Management Information management covers areas such as: web content management—including internet, extranet, podcasts and web casts document management—the creation, flow and storage of documents records management—the capture, maintenance and access to records over time, including digital information that is often referred to as digital asset management.
QUESTIONS In your school, personal and part-time working life, what types of tacit knowledge have you gained? Refer to figure 4.3 to assist with drafting your own list on page 174