IRMS – BIG Conference, Big Data, Open Data and no time to visit The Lanes

IRMS at Brighton this week in no way resembled the first RM conference I attended.  It was a long (very long) time ago and the delegate list didn't run over onto a second A4 page.

It's a while since I have been at a conference and felt compelled to attend every session.  Steve Brignall got us off to a flying start taking us out into deep space, reminding us how computing power has progressed and how complex the tiniest satellite is and just what a vast document management challenge it represents.  I loved the idea of creating a document to cover things you didn't need just to confirm that you didn't need them,  I can see the sense when billions of dollars are at stake.

He started the acronyms that flew around for the rest of the day. These were deftly picked up and added to in the excellent Q&A on Research Data management ably chaired by Paul Duller.  Time for a quick coffee and then to the impossible task of choosing a breakout session.  There were two before lunch each with five incredibly interesting topics: Is RM Dead, Metadata, Risk & Compliance, Adapt or Die and one about a tortoise, swiftly followed by Consumerising RM, Better shopping, Open and Closed Data, regulated Big Data or Taxonomies

Judging by the buzzy lunch-time chatter they were all excellent.  A swift walk outside to see the sea reminded me that mizzle is a good word (mist and drizzle) as it explains how you get wet when it isnt seemingly raining.

Where do we start with Kim Sadler's talk?  Calm and yet compelling Kim explained how paying lip service to Information and Records Management effectively resulted in the deaths of two young girls. Worse still it seems that there is much more to learn as these are not isolated cases (proven by listening to R4 news this morning Wed 22 May).   Consequently (understandably) the coffee break was quiet and reflective and then it was back to the difficult of choosing from Freedoms Act and Datasets, Mastering Dark Data, Perfect Circles and Democratising Big open data.

A fleeting ray of sunshine enhanced a glass of fizz on the terrace overlooking the sea while waiting for the conference reception and dinner.  Well worth the wait, the dinner was way above expectations and the conversation at our table flowed.  I couldnt wait to hear Jack Straw speak as I was only there for the day and didn't want to place my trust in the last train back to London.

I take my hat off the IRMS committee for putting such an excellent conference together.  Interesting, relevant and action packed.   I'm catching up with all I missed by reading the excellent IRMS Conference blog and I recommend you to do the same if you weren't able to be there.  The twitter feeds too #IRMS13 and #IRMS2013 are full of fabulous, memorable and useful one liners.


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