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More value in Information

by Andrew White  |  September 26, 2013  |  1 Comment

There was a front page article on Monday’s US print edition of the Wall Street Journal, entitled, “Open-Government Laws Fuel Hedge-Fund Profits“.  The article highlights how an investment manager for an SEC affiliate asked the Food and Drug Administration for data pertaining to ‘”adverse event reports” concerning Vertex’s recently approved cystic-fibrosis drug, under the Freedom of Information Act.  There were no such report and so the SEC and its affiliate, Sigma Capital Management, bought some stock and also some options.  The same data became widely known a little later and the stock went up, nicely for the hedge-fund.

Timing is everything, isn’t it?  Is this illegal?  No, this is rightly called out in the article as, “…an information arms race” and “It’s important to try every avenue.  If anyone else is doing it, you need to.”  This calls into play “information strategy”.  What is your organization’s information strategy?  Do you have one?  Does your organization follow its larger competitors?  If you are a trade show or industry event, and you hear your peers talking about “information governance life cycle, or “IGL”, do you rush off and do your own research and put into train actions to invest in IGL, “because everyone else is doing it”?

This then leads into memes and how concepts, new, innovative practices emerge and gradually, over time, get adopted by the masses.  It also aligns with the Gartner Hype Cycle concept that graphically explores the hype related to technology or practices over time.  The rest, as they say, is history.  But I would like to come back to “information strategy”. While we might overall agree on the concept that explains how good ideas emerge and, over time, get adopted, it is the strategy itself that should provide the framework for the “what” get’s adopted.  For example, if your organization hasn’t “done” ERP yet, should you?  If you are about to undertake a multiyear ERP consolidation effort, should you “do” Master Data Management first?  Where does Business Intelligence fall into the sequence of priorities?  Information Strategy does not dictate any one of these; it should provide the framework to identify the choices, and help leaders take action.  Those actions are thus tactics in support of realizing the vision – leveraging the strategy.  But I get the feeling that despite the millions, billions, invested in IT and specifically Information Management technology, too few organizations have a living, breathing information strategy.  Guess where I am headed with my research?

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Category: enterprise-information-management-eim  gartner-hype-cycle  infonomics  information-architecture  information-as-an-asset  information-governance  information-innovation-yield-curve  information-leadership  information-lifecycle-management-ilm  information-management  information-theory  

Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a Distinguished Analyst and VP. His roles include Chief of Research and Content Lead for Data and Analytics. His main research focus is data and analytics strategy, platforms, and governance. Read Full Bio


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