Re-posted from CEGE Connection (the Centre for Executive & Graduate Education blog):
“My research interests emerged from my professional experience and focus on understanding the ways in which the modern workplace is being transformed through innovative information and knowledge management practices, facilitated by technology and increased collaboration.” Dr. Sandra Toze, Director, School of Information Management
Advances in technology have transformed the way in which we view information management. My first experience in the information management arena came when I worked as a librarian in financial services, an industry which generates vast quantities of information and massive data sets. This was at a time when there were no easy or intuitive interface mechanisms. With a background in history and politics, my exposure to data was limited. I quickly learned that working with data was different than working with information, you needed to understand how the data was collected and assessed. The “data” about data was critical.
Today, I am looking at how changes in the information landscape including collaboration, big and open data affect what we know about human information interactions. This is an evolving area of exploration. How do people deal with data? How do digital changes including social, mobile, analytics, cloud and automation affect how we find, interact and use information to solve problems, and to learn.
When I talk about data, I am talking about collection of numbers that we can manipulate statistically. When you see numbers on a spreadsheet, that is only part of the story. The background story relates to how the data was collected? What do these numbers represent? These are critical factors that will lead to a robust understanding of what we can do with that data. All of this is not necessarily intuitive. How do we know with certainty that the collected data is accurate and without bias?
I look forward to sharing my research in the coming series of interviews with CEGE Connection. Digital technologies are transforming the structures of society: governments, business, educational institutions, entertainment, travel. Without question, the governance of information and the need for advanced information skills are essential to realize the potential of this field of enquiry.