The principles of information management (IM) form the foundation for an organization’s ability to collect, organize, and leverage its data effectively. In an era characterized by the exponential growth of digital information, understanding and implementing sound IM principles is critical for achieving operational efficiency, informed decision-making, and strategic innovation.
The 7 principles of information management are:
Principle #1- Accuracy
The first principle underscores the significance of ensuring that data is free from errors, inconsistencies, or misleading elements. Achieving accuracy involves meticulous attention to detail during data entry, validation processes, and regular audits to identify and rectify discrepancies.
Inaccurate information can have cascading effects such as compromising decision-making processes and leading to suboptimal outcomes. By prioritizing accuracy, organizations cultivate a culture that values the reliability of information, fortifying their capacity to derive meaningful insights and make informed decisions that shape the success in an increasingly data-driven landscape.
Based on my experience, there are several methods to ensure that information is accurate by automating data entry to reduce human errors, investing in one of the best intelligent document processing systems, and validate different data sources.
Principle #2- Completeness
This principle emphasizes the importance of capturing all relevant information to avoid gaps or omissions that might impact accurate analysis and decision-making. In essence, completeness ensures that the entirety of required data is collected, stored, and maintained throughout its lifecycle.
This involves not only capturing primary data but also integrating supplementary details that provide context and depth to the information. By adhering to the principle of completeness, organizations enhance their ability to construct a holistic understanding of their data landscape, fostering more robust insights and enabling strategic initiatives based on a thorough comprehension of the available information.
Principle #3- Timeliness
Timeliness, as a foundational principle of information management, highlights the critical importance of delivering data promptly to meet the needs of decision-makers and organizational processes.
Timeliness dictates that information should be collected, processed, and disseminated in a manner that aligns with the timelines of decision-making processes. It necessitates efficient data capture, processing, and distribution mechanisms to ensure that insights are current and actionable.
Organizations need to make sure that all the collected types of information are up to date to have the ability to respond quickly to market changes, identify opportunities, and develop resilience to maintain competitive edge. Failure to do so will result in outdated and irrelevant information which will have catastrophic effect on your decisions.
Principle #4- Relevance
This principle emphasizes the importance of obtaining the right information that is aligned to the organization’s goals and objectives. At the end, our goal is to deliver the right information to the right person in the right place and time.
It highlights the need for organizations to focus on information that directly contributes to their business objectives and decision making processes and involves different approaches to data collection and storage.
By prioritizing relevance, organizations can streamline their data repositories to ensure that decision-makers are presented with meaningful insights.
Principle #5- Accessibility
If information is not easily accessible or is spread across different information silos, it can cause significant problems for an organization. As information managers, it is our responsibility to make sure that the appropriate people have access to the right information whenever they need it, without compromising the security of the documents.
In today’s digital age, it became a must to ensure that information can be accessed from anywhere, whether it’s from home, the organization, or even while on vacation. This means that organizations must have secure, reliable systems in place to enable authorized personnel to access information remotely.
Principle #6- Security
Security stands for the organization’s ability to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of their data. It underscores the critical importance of implementing robust measures to protect their information assets from unauthorized access, modification, or destruction.
Cyberthreats and data breaches are on the rise every day, organizations don’t have any option but to establish comprehensive security policies and make use of different security options such as encryption, user access control, and redlining to safeguard sensitive information.
This article will show you in 2023 the number of data breaches happened worldwide, and the number of records exposed.
Principle #7- Integrity
The last principle of IM is integrity which emphasizes the importance of maintaining the consistency and trustworthiness of information to protect it against unauthorized or unintentional modifications.
It involves implementing serious measures to prevent data corruption, unauthorized modifications and tampering to ensure that information are always kept in its original form. Organizations achieve data integrity through secure storage, version control, and regular validation processes.