Foreseeing the Future…

Foreseeing the Future of Intelligence and Information Services…Are We Prepared? How Do We Know? The program was described as ” Intelligence and information services rely on keeping ahead of sources and methods, tools and technology, and changes in organizations, industries, and the broader environment. How well do we do this? How can we adopt ways to help us see more clearly and act with more certainty? How can we be sure we’re doing the right things and doing enough? Continuing their CI 20/20 series, longtime veterans Cynthia Cheng Correia and Dr. Craig Fleisher engage participants in a robust discussion, exercise and activities that will broaden our sights to drivers and signals of change and sharpen our focus to what’s important to our organizations, intelligence and information services, and professional impact and value. Join us to expand your foresight, gain more new insights, and prepare your work, and yourself, for the evolving service landscape.”

The speakers were John Thomson, Chief Research Officer, Aurora WDC, Craig S. Fleisher, Chief Analytics Officer, Aurora WDC and, again, Cynthia Cheng Correia, Managing Director, Knowledge inForm. Cynthia spoke at the scary program on misinformation yesterday.

This was held in Zoom and I find it a little confusing that some events are held in AccelEvents, some in Remo and others in Zoom. I am not sure about the why behind it.

They presented 3 scenarios for the future:

  • Dystopian Scenario
  • Utopian Scenario
  • Plausible Scenario

Not all will come to the fore.

I&IS (Intel/Info Services) Dystopia 2030: What are the implications for Intel/Info Services

  • People no longer even have experience ever having been in a library; orgs don’t have knowledge centers
  • the 3W is dominated by: Amazon, Apple, Alphabet/Google, Microsoft and We Chat
  • People need not apply; tech drives 90+% of information management tasks
  • Everyone are in filter bubbles
  • Data scientists are most valuable

I&IS (Intel/Info Services) Utopia 2030: What are the implications for Intel/Info Services

  • Info has been liberated, democratized for the global, social good of society, Info silos only exist in the info farms (reservoirs of archived info.
  • Citizens are educated to be info literate from their earliest school days, equal to 3Rs
  • Access to the web is viewed as a basic human right and provided by nation states as a public good, globally
  • Digital communities are peoples’ first affinity with which they interact, and people seek out information discovery, learning, support communities
  • A living and liveable balance has been struck between individuals’ and orgs’ information rights and responsibilities
  • Ethics considerations are included in all new information products/services being considered for public release; ‘information ethics’ becomes a required course in all universities

The Plausible I&IS (Intel/Info Services) 2030: What are the implications for Intel/Info Services

  • CI/Info Service pros continue to find occasional opportunities to influence significant org decisions
  • A few/some I&IS pros have ‘pushed the boundaries’ of knowledge and made breakthroughs in terms of influencing action
  • Some info pros grown in intelligence services awareness, and visa versa
  • a few orgs are publicly recognized for how I&IS contributed to their competitive advantage
  • Integrating information and analytics has become the key competitive differentiator for I&IS pros
  • Some associations and universities have developed curricula, standards , and policies standardizing approaches to ethical practice

One thing that needs to be done is we need to create collections of primary research. This will help combat mis- and disinformation. There will be a plethora of ways to build networks of experts and interviewing them will be based in a lot of different ways none of which are talking on the phone. Data analytics combined with human intelligence will be the way to get the plausible or utopian scenario.

We need to be thinking much more holistically rather than focusing on our job and the tasks that make up the job. We can expect that we will be able to automate many more tasks, especially search. We need to find the gaps in the systems and fill in for the tech there. I&IS can be the managers of these systems and lend our expertise to the design of these systems and how these tools fit in the overall process. We become advisors on the system. We have to look up from our roles and understand the info eco-system as it evolves. How can we be designers and advisors? Self-serve can be an asset, but it requires training so people know how to avoid mis- and disinformation and when to come to the Info Center.

We have to look back at the dot-com bust and how we looked at search engines through our lens not through the lens of the users and the organizations. How can current tools be in competition with us/our jobs? We are in a filter bubble. There is a sense of reinforcement, especially at this SLA conference, and see beyond that. We have to identify know centers in our orgs and bring them all together.

Growth Mindset – take on a new mindset, improve skill set, be curious, have insights co-emerge with our patrons. We have to be more interdisciplinary and be more interfunctional.

Toolset – toolsets (mindset, data set, skill set) have to be enlarged, not just wider, but deeper. SWOT is one that Craig mentioned – Substantial Waste of Time. Some of what is in our toolset is out of date or stale. (9:54). Some data we collect doesn’t help solve the problems of today. Datasets tomorrow and in 2030 will still be about big data, but there will also be a need to find needles in haystacks (small data). The 3rd type of data called thick data – questions about why big data is showing patterns it is showing. It helps us create the stories about big data. If you use all three, you will be able to show big rich insights.

They also discussed VUCA: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity

There was a very lively discussion. I was disappointed that the same old value discussion was brought up. I am so sick of that discussion. I can talk the talk and walk the walk, but it doesn’t work. Very few people in the session agreed with me, which was very disheartening. I believe there has to be a larger campaign extolling the virtues of organized information. I don’t know how that would look or who would pay, but it has to transcend the organization. It has to transcend the organization because, when money gets tight, orgs are still laying info pros off regardless of how innovative they are; regardless of how valued info pros are by patrons. Organized information has to be recognized as a corporate value across organizations, then info pros can talk about what they do in the org and how it helps.

The other thing I noticed, which was incidental to the topic was how many different organizations there are. I think SLA needs to partner or merge with others like SKIP, AIIP, CID, AALL, etc. Having these different organizations doesn’t benefit info pros in general.