by Jodi Gregory
As an independent information professional for over 15 years, I’ve stayed successful and future ready by continually “connecting the dots.” It is important to stay connected and when networking, we should be thinking about how we can bring together the new people we meet with other people we know for mutually beneficial relationships. Often my connectedness allows me to tap into my network for the expertise I need for that missing piece in satisfying an information request for a client. No longer should we expect to provide answers to our client’s questions only from online services, the open or invisible web.
Our work is continually defined and re-defined by multiple and varying clients and our responses to them. Since we are experts at evaluating and presenting information, we should utilize these skills to identify future trends and anticipate what our client’s needs and questions will be. We can improve our efficiency by setting up dashboards or alerts on trending topics so that when a request comes our way, we are already knowledgeable about the best and most reliable sources for the information. Having this knowledge allows us to be even more valuable to our clients. I get a little thrill when I can stay to my clients “I’ve read about that lately and I have already identified some experts and great sources for this information.”
One example of a new trend is the use of infographics. Have you begun incorporating infographics in the presentation of your research results? As always, they need to be vetted for their validity and quality but visual and graphic presentation of information is appreciated by my clients. I’ve taken this one step further by working with a graphic designer to create my own based on the information I’ve assembled in my research.
We are experts at disseminating information so we can and should use our talents to provide research in advance of a client need. Let us be the ones to connect the dots and provide research and analysis that is future ready!
Jodi Gregory is the principal of Access Information Services. She has been an independent information professional for over 15 years and is a past president of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (aiip.org). She is also a columnist for Cyberskeptic’s Guide to Internet Research published by Information Today.