Enterprise information management – some recent surveys and reports

by | Aug 27, 2011 | Information Management, Intranets, Reviews

Over the last few months a number of very interesting reports and surveys have been published, and in this post I have provided some brief reviews of them.

‘Big Data’ is emerging as an important topic.  The McKinsey Global Institute have published a superb report on the challenges and opportunities of Big Data. The title says it all. “Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition and Productivity“. The report is 156pp long. After chapters on Growth and Value Creation and then Big Data Techniques and Technologies there are detailed assessments of how Big Data could transform the health care and retail sectors in the USA, public sector administration in the EU and manufacturing and personal location on a global basis.  One of the most interesting tables in the report is the scale of information storage by vertical industry sector in the USA, showing that companies with more than 1000 employees typically have over 100 terabytes of stored data, and in many cases substantially more.

MarkLogic have also published a report about Big Data management. Entitled The Post-Relational Reality Sets In, this excellent survey also looks in some detail at  attitudes to the management of structured and unstructured information.  86% of the respondents to the survey regarded unstructured information as being business-critical but only 11% have procedures and policies in place to manage this unstructured information. Only 24% of respondents felt that they were in a position to cope with the significant increases they accept there will be in the volume and value of information in the years ahead.  In my view this degree of complacency is going to have some serious impacts on the economic growth that we need to sustain society.

Mind the Enterprise Search Gap has just been released by SmartLogic. This large-scale survey (2000 directors in the USA, UK, France and Germany) found that more than half the respondents said they cannot find the information they are seeking using their own organisation’s enterprise search facility within an acceptable time. 65% said that a good search should take no more than 2 minutes but only 48% said that this was the case in their organisation.  Quite a gap!

Another recent study from McKinsey looks at the economic impact of internet search. The term ‘enterprise search’ tends to be used in the context of internal repositories, but someone should be taking care of corporate web site search, which is often poorly executed and supported outside of the e-commerce sector.

Finally there is the Second Annual New Intelligent Enterprise Survey from the MIT Sloan Management Review. Currently only a summary is available, with the full report due out in the next couple of months.   This was a very large scale global survey of 4000 executives. Although the theme of the survey is data analytics in fact the scope is somewhat broader and  there is a lot of useful information presented using very clear charts and diagrams. Almost 20% of respondents have little or no access to the information they need to succeed in their jobs. It seems as though there are some rather unintelligent enterprises out there.

Overall some depressing reading, unless like me you happen to be an information management consultant with a speciality in enterprise search!

Martin White