Friday the 13th-Risk or Record?
Another successful Sue Hill Recruitment breakfast brought together a hungry group of information professionals whose roles have taken them into the 'darkness' that is Records Management or is it Information Management or was it Knowledge Management? And there lies the rub – it is all in the meaning.
One fundamental point was raised even before we were tucking into our breakfast. RM means to some Risk Management and to other Records Management. In boiling all the conversation we concluded that essentially it is all about mitigating risk for organisations and that can be both a barrier and driver in terms of how successful RM programmes can be. In looking at trying to make sense of the terminology that we currently employ, it appears that Information is defined as knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance. Records are defined as an account, as of information or facts, set down especially in writing as a means of preserving knowledge. Preservation would appear to be the key, information does not necessarily need to be preserved as it gets refreshed continually – but the recording of something at a point in time is preserving that 'information' it becomes static in that case.
The debate will continue but I really liked the aspect of Risk. If Information Management is defined as managing electronic information in databases, how does that differ from Records Management, which is also management of electronic information in databases? Maybe the debate is about how do we define Information!!