AI is rapidly impacting all aspects of information management, from searching and retrieving data and information, to replacing human staff answering frequently-asked-questions. While AI rated highly as a topic of critical importance in the next 12-18 months, respondents who participated in this year’s business information survey didn’t place it at the top of their lists.
Instead, the two most critically important topics among information professionals were: Digital Delivery and Data Protection.
Inside the 2018 Business Information Survey Results
The business information survey is the world’s longest-running survey of information professionals. The survey is based on primary interviews with senior information professionals working in a variety of industry and business environments, including banking, finance, legal, education, manufacturing and charity or 3rd sector.
We tuned in to SLA Europe’s Webinar “How real is the impact of artificial intelligence? Findings from the 2018 Business Information Survey” to learn more about the results. Here were five big takeaways:
1. AI Might Not be ‘Critical’ – But It’s Important
Digital delivery, and data protection, particularly the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), were rated as the topics of most critical importance in the next 12-18 months by e-survey participants. Open Access, Internet of Things and AI were all rated highly as being ‘of interest.’ AI was seen as not ‘critical’ but ‘important.’
2. Ensuring High Quality Data is an Essential Skill
Data quality, and trust and confidence in data, are top concerns for information professionals; survey participants are clear that the ability to ensure data is of highest quality and integrity is a critical skill for information professionals.
3. Senior Information Pros are Taking a Thoughtful Approach to Rolling Out AI Solutions
AI is clearly an area where information professionals see the potential for change and innovation to happen in the very near future, but they won’t be rushed into action by hype. Interviewees will make decisions around where and when to use these technologies based on careful testing, appropriate caution and comprehensive assessments.
4. Brushing up on Current Skills Will be Key to Meet the Challenges Ahead
Information professionals foresee that new technical and AI solutions will mainly require the enhancement of current skills, rather than the acquisition of new ones.
5. Information Professionals are Ready, Willing and Able to Face the Challenges and Opportunities that Lie Ahead
Information professionals must continuously adapt to a fast-paced, always changing technological, economic, political and cultural environment. The results of the 2018 survey demonstrate that the information profession is meeting the challenge head-on.
Digital Delivery and Data Protection
With digital delivery and data protection, especially GDPR, being top of mind, compliance is critical. With a long list of regulations for what you can and cannot do with consumer data, information professionals are continuously being challenged to handle data in a compliant way. As businesses strives to be agile and innovative, the importance of privacy regarding digital delivery cannot get lost.
The right to privacy is a basic human right, and GDPR and similar data protection regulations treat data privacy accordingly. Whereas previously consumers may have been unaware of how their data was being stored, today the request for consent must be done in a transparent way. Likewise, it must be just as easy to withdraw that consent. The main goal is to make sure everyone understands the importance of individual privacy concerns and data protection, and information professionals are at the forefront of this heightened level of clarity.
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