Audit Information

The Information Audit (IA) extends the concept of auditing to the organizational information management system. Information is representative of a resource qui requires effective management and this led to the development of interest in the use of an AI. [1]

Prior to the 1990s and the methodologies of Orna , Henczel , Wood, Buchanan and Gibb , IA approaches and methodologies. Later approaches included an organizational analysis and the mapping of the information flow . This gave context to analysis Within an organization’s information systems and a holistic view of Their IR and have Such Could contribuer to the development of the Information Systems Architecture (ISA). In recent years the IA has been overlooked in favor of the systems development process which can be less expensive than the IA, yet more technically Heavily Focused, project specific (not holistic) and does not favor the top-down analysis of the AI. [2]

Definition

A definition for the information audit can not be universally agreed upon amongst scholars, however the definition offered by ASLIB received positive support from a few notable scholars including Henczel , Orna and Wood; “(The AI is a) systematic examination of information use, resources and flows, with a verification by reference to Both people and Existing documents, in order to suit les the extent to qui They Are Contributing to an organization’s objective” [3] In summary , The term audit itself implies a counting, [4] the IA being much the same as it counts IR and analyzes how they are used and how critical they are to the success of a given task.

Role and scope of an IA

In the same way as the IA is difficult to define, it can be used in a range of contexts by the information professional, [5] from complying with freedom of information legislation to identify any existing gaps , duplications, bottlenecks or other inefficiencies in Information flows and to understand how the channels can be used for knowledge transfer [6]

In 2007 Buchanan and Gibb developed on their 1998 review of the IA process by outlining a summary of its main objectives :

  • To identify an organization’s information resource
  • To identify an organization’s information needs

In addition, Buchanan and Gibb went on to state that the IA also had to meet the following additional objectives:

  • To identify the cost / benefits of information resources
  • To identify the opportunities to use the information resources for strategic competitive advantage
  • To integrate IT investment with strategic business initiatives
  • To identify information flow and processes
  • To develop an integrated information strategy and / or policy
  • To create an awareness of the importance of Information Resource Management (IRM)
  • To monitor / evaluate conformance to information related to standards, legislations, policy and guidelines.

Methodology evolution

Overview

In 1976 Riley first published a definition of IA as a way of analyzing IR based on a cost-benefit model. Since Riley, scholars have outlined further developed methodologies. Henderson Took a cost-benefit approach Hopping to draw focus from manpower-costing to information storage and acquisition qui he felt Was Overlooked being white. In 1985, Gillman, who has been working in the United States for a number of years. Neither Henderson nor Gillman’s methods offered alternative approaches beyond the existing organizational frameworks. Quinn took a hybrid-approach combining Gillman and Henderson’s methods to identify the purpose of existing IR and to position them within the organization, as did Worlock. The differentiator between Quinn and Worlock lay in Worlock’s consideration of solutions outside the current organizational structure. These approaches have had a great deal of attention to the needs of the user or in making the recommendations for the development of a corporate information strategy. [7] Therefore, here follows a brief outline and overall comparison of four published strategic approaches in order that one may understand the development of the methodology.

Burk and Horton

In 1988 Burk and Horton developed InfoMap, the first methodology developed for widespread use. It aims to discover, map and evaluate the IR within an organization using a 4-stage process:

  • Survey staff using questionnaires / interviews
  • Measure the IR against cost / value
  • Analysis resources
  • Synthesize the findings and map the strengths and weaknesses of the IR against the objectives of the organization.

Although the method inventoried all IR (and therefore met standard ISO 1779) this bottom-up approach revealed limited analysis of the organization’s holistically and the steps were not explicit enough. [8]

Orna

Ornamentation in a Burk and Horton methodology in the context of the production of a business information system. Initially the method had just 4-stages, this later revised to a 10-stage process which included pre and post-audit internships as below:

  • Conduct a preliminary review to confirm operational / strategic direction
  • Gain support / resource from management
  • Gain commitment from the other stakeholders (staff)
  • Planning including the project , team, tools and techniques
  • Identify the IR, information flow and produce a cost / value assessment
  • Interpret findings based on current versus desired state
  • Produce a report to present findings
  • Implementation
  • Monitor effects of change
  • Repeat the IA

Orna’s method is the need for a cyclical IA to be put in place in order for the IR to be continually tracked and improvements made regularly. Again this method was criticized for lacking some practical application and in 2004 Orna revised the methodology once more to try to rectify this problem [8]

Buchanan and Gibb

In 1998, similar to Orna’s earlier publication, Buchanan and Gibb took a top-down approach, drawing techniques from established management disciplines to provide a framework and a level of familiarity for information professionals. This set of techniques was a notable contribution to the methodologies [8] and the need to be flexible for each organization. Theirs was a 5-stage process:

  • IA through seminars / surveys / CEO letter for cooperation
  • ( PEST ), map information flow and examination organization culture.
  • Analysis and formulation of action plan for problem areas, flow diagrams and a report of findings and recommendations
  • Accounting for cost of IR and related services using Activity Based Costing ( ABC ) and Output Based Specification (OBS).
  • Synthesize the whole process in final audit and provide an information strategy (strategic direction) in relation to the organization’s mission statement .

This was the introduction of a new approach to costing the IR and had an integrated strategic direction. [9]

Henczel

Henczel’s methodology drew upon the strengths of Orna and Buchanan and Gibb to produce a 7-stage process: [10]

  • Planning and submission of business cases for approval to proceed
  • Data collection and development of an IR database and population through technical survey
  • Structured data analysis
  • Data evaluation, interpretation and formulation of recommendations
  • Communication of recommendations through a report
  • Implementing recommendations through a program
  • The IA as a continuum of a cyclical process

Focus was made once more on the strategic direction of the organization conducting the IA. Furthermore, Henczel examination into the use made of the IA as a first-step in the development of a knowledge audit or knowledge management strategy [11] as Discussed in the later section.

Case Studies

Scholars and information professionals have since tested the above methodologies with varied results. An early case study produced by Soy Bustelo and in a Spanish financial institution in 1999 avocation to Identify the use of information resources for qualitative and quantitative data analysis due to the rapid expansion of the organization Within a six-year period. [12] Although the methodology was not explicitly credited to any of the above-mentioned scholars, it did follow a strategic (post 1990’s) IA process including gaining support from management, the use of questionnaires for data collection, analysis and evaluation of the data , Identification and mapping of the IR, Cost-analysis and outlining recommendations to assist with the establishment of an information policy. In addition the IA report suggests that the process would need to be continuous (cyclical as Orna , Henczel and Buchanan and Gibbsuggest). Findings of this case-study Stated que la AI has allowed Greater understanding of the basis of the organization’s information policy and staff and technical problems APPROBATION dans le organization. In addition this method was believed to be cost effective and time-consuming to the two auditors involved and the organization used the results of the IA as a marketing tool. [13] In addition the IA report suggests that the process would need to be continuous (cyclical as Orna , Henczel and Buchanan and Gibb suggest). Findings of this case-study Stated que la AI has allowed Greater understanding of the basis of the organization’s information policy and staff and technical problems APPROBATION dans le organization. In addition this method was believed to be cost effective and time-consuming to the two auditors involved and the organization used the results of the IA as a marketing tool. [13] In addition the IA report suggests that the process would need to be continuous (cyclical as Orna , Henczel and Buchanan and Gibb suggest). Findings of this case-study Stated que la AI has allowed Greater understanding of the basis of the organization’s information policy and staff and technical problems APPROBATION dans le organization. In addition this method was believed to be cost effective and time-consuming to the two auditors involved and the organization used the results of the IA as a marketing tool. [13] Henczel and Buchanan and Gibb suggest). Findings of this case-study Stated que la AI has allowed Greater understanding of the basis of the organization’s information policy and staff and technical problems APPROBATION dans le organization. In addition this method was believed to be cost effective and time-consuming to the two auditors involved and the organization used the results of the IA as a marketing tool. [13] Henczel and Buchanan and Gibb suggest). Findings of this case-study Stated que la AI has allowed Greater understanding of the basis of the organization’s information policy and staff and technical problems APPROBATION dans le organization. In addition this method was believed to be cost effective and time-consuming to the two auditors involved and the organization used the results of the IA as a marketing tool. [13] Findings of this case-study Stated que la AI has allowed Greater understanding of the basis of the organization’s information policy and staff and technical problems APPROBATION dans le organization. In addition this method was believed to be cost effective and time-consuming to the two auditors involved and the organization used the results of the IA as a marketing tool. [13] Findings of this case-study Stated que la AI has allowed Greater understanding of the basis of the organization’s information policy and staff and technical problems APPROBATION dans le organization. In addition this method was believed to be cost effective and time-consuming to the two auditors involved and the organization used the results of the IA as a marketing tool. [13]

In 2006 a paper testing the ‘viability’ of Henczel’s methodology was published in the South African Journal of Library and Information Science. The purpose of the study was to determine the financial position of an organization (Statistics SA) through a report of financial statements made over a period of time. The IA was used as part of the holistic audit process and was limited to just the methodology of Henczel after consideration and dismissal of others. [14] The IA followed the seven-stage process as outlined above (planning, data collection, analysis, evaluation, IA as a continuum) and the objectives were outlined as identifying the needs of respondents, identifying information sources and their significance, mapping information and identifying gaps in available sources.
Upon conducting the IA, the recommendations were made and made available to the public. Finally, advantages and disadvantages to this methodology were identified. It was reported that the methodology was flexible in its application as it could be adjusted to suit the needs of an organization, That the scope could be easily expanded to cover more objectives and that guidelines for data collection and analysis were varied. Secondly it was felt that the methodology was cost-effective as it made use of existing resources (email, workspace etc.). The greatest disadvantage was that the process was ‘cumbersome’ and that the researcher became weary with the repetitive nature of the planning process.
In conclusion, the study reported that Henczel’s methodology had allowed the information management activities of the public sector organization in question. [15] Positively it has been viewed as cost-effective and depicted a snapshot of the use of information in the organization,

In 2007 Buchanan and Gibb published another review of the IA to include case studies of their own methodology, an element they had been previously criticized for not including. [16] In the first case study conducted in a university research department, the objectives were to identify how effective information was. The methodology was tailored to the study by removing the costing stage and establishing a workgroup to assist at various stages of the process, whilst all other courses remained as per the above (promote, identify, analyze and synthesise). Recommendations were made by the auditor to the greater synergy and systems analysis and it was immediately recognized the value of this output. [17]
The second case study dealt with a public body within the arts sector with the objectives to streamline evaluation and approval processes and to improve communication between stakeholders . The sponsor aussi That has specified list of recommendations Were required to be incorporated into a change management program and this aligns well to Buchanan and Gibb’s strategic directional method. The IA methodology was scoped to be a resource-oriented and once again costing stage was removed. All else remained as per the original methodology . The IA output has been used for all organizational processes in a shift from process-modeling to capturing process descriptions. [18]
The main Strengths APPROBATION in Buchanan and Gibb’s methodology Were icts logical structuring of training, provision of tools, inclusive process for stakeholders, adequate illustration of the role of effective information management Within an organization and much like Henczel , the flexibility to tailor the methodology. Their scope matrix was also proven to be useful. A weakness in the limitation of the qualitative data analysis. As regards the applicability of this method, It should be noted that the costing stage was not included in either study and that this might be required in an information audit. Further study is required to produce a more conclusive analysis of the methodology. [19]

Methodology comparisons and conclusions

The conclusions of the case studies, which have been discussed in more detail in this paper, In 2008 Buchanan and Gibb drew comparisons from the published IA methodologies of the following scholars: Burk and Horton , Orna , Buchanan and Gibb and Henczel , with the purpose of understanding if a hybrid methodology could be produced as a ‘baseline’ .

The hybrid-methodology was formed of seven stages and is as follows:

  • Set-up including project plan, communications, endorsements , business case and preliminary analysis
  • Review strategic and internal (analysis and analysis)
  • Survey information users, identify IR and map the information flow
  • Account of the cost / business benefits and value of IR
  • Analysis all findings
  • Report on the production and dissemination of recommendations
  • IA as a cyclical process, monitor and control.

However, Buchanan and Gibb themselves declared that this should not be considered as a high-level “and does not assess how well each methodology addresses each stage.” [17]

Information Audit and the development of a Knowledge Audit

In more recent years, since the development of the top-down methodologies, I have been used as a basis for the development of a knowledge audit, which itself contributes to an organization’s knowledge management strategy. Once complete, the IA permits the transfer of knowledge and information to the public. Moreover, this analysis develops strategy for knowledge capture, access, storage, dissemination and validation. [20] Dissimilarly to the IA, the objectives of the knowledge audit are to identify any people-related issues that impact the ways in which knowledge can be captured, Where it is required and then determines how best to undertake a knowledge transfer as “unlike information, knowledge is bound to a person, organization or community.” [21] Similarities entre les knowledge and information auditing methodologies can ce jour restera HOWEVER, as questionnaires, the development of an inventory, analysis of flow and has data map [22] are here again used. The importance of this audit, therefore, is to understand the strategic significance of an organization. The development of an inventory, analysis of flow and a data map [22]are here again used. The importance of this audit, therefore, is to understand the strategic significance of an organization. The development of an inventory, analysis of flow and a data map [22] are here again used. The importance of this audit, therefore, is to understand the strategic significance of an organization.

See also

  • Audit
  • Knowledge management
  • Information management
  • Freedom of information legislation
  • Mission statement
  • Gap analysis
  • Information mapping

Notes

  1. Jump up^ Ellis et al., 1993, p.134.
  2. Jump up^ Buchanan & Gibb, 2007, p.161.
  3. Jump up^ Buchanan & Gibb, 2007, p.159
  4. Jump up^ Henczel, 2000, p.96.
  5. Jump up^ Wood, 2004, p.6.
  6. Jump up^ Henczel, 2000, p.92.
  7. Jump up^ Ellis et al., 1993, p.137.
  8. ^ Jump up to:c Buchanan & Gibb, 2008, p.4. Paper on methodology selection.
  9. Jump up^ Buchanan & Gibb, 1998, p.46.
  10. Jump up^ Buchanan & Gibb, 2008, pp.4-5.
  11. Jump up^ Henczel, 2001, p.16.
  12. Jump up^ Soy & Bustelo, 1999, p.30. Part I of the study.
  13. Jump up^ Soy & Bustelo, 1999, p.61
  14. Jump up^ Raliphada & Botha, 2006, p.242.
  15. Jump up^ Raliphada & Botha, 2006, p.248.
  16. Jump up^ Buchanan & Gibb, 2008, p.150.
  17. ^ Jump up to:b Buchanan & Gibb, 2008, pp.151-155. Cite error: Invalid <ref>tag; Name “Buchanan8” defined multiple times with different content (see the help page ).
  18. Jump up^ Buchanan & Gibb, 2008, pp.155-156.
  19. Jump up^ Buchanan & Gibb, 2008, p.160.
  20. Jump up^ Henczel, 2000, p.104.
  21. Jump up^ Mearns & Du Toit, 2008, p.161
  22. Jump up^ Burnett et al, 2004, p.2

References

BUCHANAN, S. and GIBB, F., 1998. The information audit: an integrated strategic approach. International Journal of Information Management, 18 (1), p. 29-47.

BUCHANAN, S. and GIBB, F., 2007. The information audit: role and scope. International Journal of Information Management, 27 (3), p. 159-172.

BUCHANAN, S. and GIBB, F., 2008. The information audit: methodology selection. International Journal of Information Management, 28 (1), p. 3-11.

BUCHANAN, S. and GIBB, F., 2008. The information audit: Theory versus practice. International Journal of Information Management, 28 (3), pp. 150-160

BURNETT, S. et al., 2004. Knowledge Auditing and Mapping: a Pragmatic Approach. Knowledge and Process Management , 11 (0), pp. 1-13.

ELLIS, D. et al., 1993. Information audits, communication audits and information mapping: a review and survey. International Journal of Information Management, 13 (2), p. 29-47.

HENCZEL, S., 2001. The Information Audit: a practical guide. Wiltshire: Anthony Rowe Ltd.

HENCZEL, S., 2000. The information audit as a first step towards effective knowledge management. IFLA Publications, 108 (1), p. 91-106.

MEARNS, MA and DU TOIT, ASA, 2008. Knowledge audit: Tools of the trade. International Journal of Information Management , 28 (1), p. 161-167.

RALIPHADA, L. and BOTHA, D., 2006. Testing the viability of Henczel’s information methodology in practice. South African Journal of Library and Information Science , 72 (3), p. 242-250.

SOY, C. and BUSTELO, C., 1999. A practical approach to information audit. Managing Information, 6 (9), pp. 30-36.

SOY, C. and BUSTELO, C., 1999. A practical approach to information auditing: case study La Caixa Bank, Barcelona Part 2. Managing Information, 6 (10), pp. 60-61.

WOOD, S., 2004. Information auditing: a guide for Information Managers. Middlesex: Freepint.

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