The thought of information management can sound complicated or overly broad, but many aspects of information management are used in our daily personal lives—we just don’t think of them in such a formal way. I’ll provide you with an example that’s easy to understand and even apply to your own life.
First, here are a couple of clear and simple definitions for information management and information integrity. In general terms, the definitions of the two concepts are as follows:
- Information management: a process that leads to an interpretation of data to convey meaning
- Information integrity: the accuracy and trustworthiness of the information
Ultimately, an easy way to think about information management is the process of knowing where to get information and then use it appropriately to get to solve a problem or answer a question. If the inter-working of this process fails, then the information isn’t being managed well.
For instance, let’s say you have a group of five friends with whom you are trying to coordinate a dinner. You ask everyone their restaurant preference and store each of their answers in a shared spreadsheet with specific fields and organizational structure. Based on the answers, you decide where you should go to eat. You do this every time you go out to eat as a group.
At the end of the year, one of your friends wonders aloud, “Where was our favorite place to eat last year?” As long as you were accurately storing this information in a safe, organized place, they will be able to find the answer. They can access your shared excel spreadsheet, review the yearly information, and then confidently say which restaurant was the favorite of the prior year. If you hadn’t been diligent with your information gathering and storing, the answer would have been estimated and potentially inaccurate, which would mean that the information integrity had been lost.
I hope this real-life example of information management helped to understand things from a daily perspective.