Gartner asks, are you meeting the needs of 'information citizens'?

Gartner asks, are you meeting the needs of 'information citizens'?

Lists steps to incorporate the needs of this growing group of consumers into the organisation’s information strategy

The majority of today's information strategies are not addressing the needs of ‘information citizens’, a growing class of casual information consumers seeking ease of access and use of information as a top priority,” says Joao Tapadinhas, research director at Gartner.

He estimates half of organisations will not have an information strategy that addresses the emerging role of information citizens through 2017.

But organisations need to incorporate the needs of this emerging group, as information is a key component of the 'Nexus of Forces', Gartner's term for the confluence and integration of cloud, social collaboration, mobile and information.

“Information strategies and the use of information are increasingly driven by - and driving - digital business,” says Tapadinhas.

“An information strategy is a broad topic, but defining how organisations use and manage information affects all aspects of IT and business management and transformation.”

Organisations are looking to big data to provide an enhanced experience for their customers, he notes.

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Last year, investments in big data continued to rise, with 73 percent of organisations investing or planning to invest over the next two years. However, although many organisations are in the midst of rapidly maturing big data efforts, many questions and challenges remain around their information strategies.

Information citizens are increasingly being defined as a "user persona" for information and analytic applications.

These customers and partners are casual consumers of information and analysis, which include access to and analysis of multi-structured data consumed in easy-to-use applications, says Tapadinhas.

“Information citizens will subscribe to a consumption platform and ecosystem which will develop and deliver these applications spanning a diversity of information structures and sources.”

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Currently most information strategies do not define the role or address the needs of these information citizen personas, he states.

Access to multi-structured data

How can organisations meet their needs?

Gartner notes new types of information consumption platforms will have to include applications to provide information citizens with better access to the analysis of multi-structured data. The latter is data that may include a user's business transactional data sources and systems.

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These platforms will also include a wider range of capabilities, such as search-based queries of tagged information, visual and data-driven storytelling, along with easy-to-manage and easy-to-use information aggregation and governance of multi-structured data for analysis.

The related integration technologies and business models for information consumer applications are still being defined, but Gartner believes that a market and set of market categories will emerge over the next two to three years.

The majority of the consumption of information and analysis will continue to include the current solutions and solution architectures for information and analysis.

Today, most consumers of information and analysis have evolved into fairly mature sets of tools, skills and methodologies for analysing structured and primarily transactional information from ERP and data warehouse database management systems.

Current investments in information and analytic technologies and skills have, in many cases, not kept pace with the increases in computing and analysis capabilities.

“The information strategy is still firmly focused on maintaining the status quo,” notes Tapadinhas.

Information consumer applications will need to access combinations of information and analysis across multi-structured data located in multiple cloud and on-premises services, he states.

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The related integration technologies and business models for information consumer applications are still being defined, but Gartner believes that a market and set of market categories will emerge over the next two to three years.

Leading-edge companies will see the business need to include information citizens in their information strategies and will ultimately provide them with new applications, concludes Gartner.

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Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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