The challenge for independent practitioners is how to make the best use of their data so that it becomes a valuable resource and not meaningless digital ‘white noise’. Information needs turning into your biggest asset, says Kingsley Hollis.
We are now all so used to going online for answers that it is astonishing to think how recently we were using reference books, paper records and making phone calls to access the information we need.
And yet none of this would have been possible before 1989 when CERN scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee submitted his treatise ‘Information Management: A Proposal out of frustration at the difficulty of sharing the experimental data held on different computers’.
His idea for a system of connected information that users could access and search developed into the World Wide Web and was an essential prerequisite in the development of the digital economy.
As we celebrate the web’s 30th anniversary this year, it is worth reflecting on how developments have transformed independent practice.
One significant change is the dramatic increase in the amount of data that we now produce.
According to one estimate, there was an eight-fold increase in the global volume of data in the five years between 2010 and 2015 and this is forecast to grow exponentially in the years ahead.
The challenge for practitioners is how to make the best use of their data so that it becomes a valuable resource and not meaningless digital ‘white noise’.
In my view, information can only be a practice asset if it meets the following five criteria:
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