March Business Information Review

The March issue of Business Information Review has arrived, packed with the normal eclectic mix of content. First off, is the publication of the 26th Annual Business Information Survey. 
BIR Survey 2016: a regular feature of the Journal since 1991, the Business Information survey is now the longest running continuous review of the business information sector in the world. This year’s survey is also the first to be produced by Denise Carter of DCision Consult, who follows in the footsteps of Allan Foster.  The survey reveals that soft-skills, a commercial mind-set, and a future-focussed outlook are at the forefront of skillsets required by the sector. Commercial organisations are demanding more rounded practitioners who can adapt to “internal consultant” style roles. The most valued attributes highlighted by the research include forward thinking, horizon planning, strategic thinking, and future perspectives. The survey also highlighted the value of interpersonal negotiation and networking skills, and data visualisation and packaging. 
The survey highlights a gap between the qualities demanded of information professionals in the commercial sector, and the focus of traditional library and information education programmes, including short course provision. In decline is the perceived value of “core” information skills including taxonomy and classification. Demand for traditional education and training is also declining, as commercial organisations turn to internal company “academies” or “universities” to fulfil specific training requirements. Mentoring and peer training were also commonly used as training solutions. It is essential reading for everyone involved in the business information profession. 
Social Business Adoption: An empirical analysis: also published in the March issue is a paper focussing on the adoption of social business models. Jacob Wood, Assistant Professor at the School of Industrial Management Korea University of Technology & Education, explores the perceptions of social media usage by organizations and how that can affect their take up and adoption of social media platforms.  The article focuses on organizations from South Korea and New Zealand and takes an analytical look at both the benefits and risks of using social media for organizations in order to examine motivations for and effectiveness of use.  Using technology adoption theory they identified several factors by which to measure perceived benefits and barriers to social media usage.
Searching for Talent – Information retrieval challenges for recruitment professionals: Tony Russell-Rose and his co-author Jon Chamberlin take a look at the challenges faced by recruitment professionals in searching for and sourcing suitable candidates.  In particular they look at the information challenges faced in categorizing and identification of key words to find candidates to match their skills with the most suitable vacancies.  They have interviewed recruitment professionals who have provided insights into information seeking behaviour and information search techniques.  The article looks at the complex Boolean searches that are developed, the challenges in using and maintaining them and the types of functionality recruitment professionals’ value within systems.  The article concludes with a discussion around the implications for information systems development and a balance that needs to be created between automated information retrieval and the knowledge and expertise contained within the individual professional recruiter on what search terms work best.
Modeling Customer Knowledge Management to make Value Co-Creation: In this article, Ali Gohary and Bahman Hamzelu of Department of Business Management, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran review the importance of managing the knowledge of customers in order to anticipate customer wants and needs so as to gain or maintain competitive advantage.   They consider how Customer Knowledge Management, knowledge management applied to CRM (customer relationship management) is highly effective in the development of new products and services but is not in fact well recognised within organisations. The article reviews the processes that need to be considered as well as exploring conceptual models to gain the most from customer knowledge management.  They also explore ‘mass public education’ within customer knowledge management to enhance and develop customer interaction in the service and product development process.
Perspectives & Initiatives: Martin White returns with his Perspectives column.  His article reviews papers very topical to this month’s issue and this time looks at the effects of language on search and search behaviour.  He considers the use of both modern and colloquial languages and how that affects search results. ther papers he reviews are the usage of mobile data services for accessing information both generally and also through library services.   The need for techniques to develop information sharing between teams working in critical environments and the affects of trust in search results on the assessment of valid results.
Allan Foster brings us an interesting review in his regular Initiatives paper.  He starts with a look at the rise of digital partnerships, why they are increasing in popularity and why they are important.  He reviews pieces of research, one from EIU and one from IDC.  The research articles provide some interesting insights including some very specific future predictions on worldwide digital transformation. He also covers the value of information, how is it valued, how is that realised and provides some interesting insights from the PwC report in this area.  Whilst the valuing information is a bit hit and miss it appears organisations are investing in realising value, specifically generating revenue from their data.  Allan reviews an EIU report in this area.  There are other interesting insights from further reviews covering key future trends that could change the information industry, strong growth anticipated for the market research industry and growth of the big data technology and services sector to name a few.

You can find the issue here: