The Cutting Edge
December 02, 2010


Someone slashed the top on my convertible a few days ago in a futile effort to find something of value. He or she got nothing; the perpetrator also managed to cost me at least the $500 deductible and, far worse, throw me into the maw of the monster that is the auto insurance bureaucracy.

What will come out the other end still remains to be seen; I’ll keep you posted. But what this unexpected event brought home to me – OK, call me a bit strange – is the importance of the information management we research and write about so often.

The police took down the information, and gave me a case number; presumably the incident is recorded in the department’s database. The insurance company gave me a claim number; what that number represents, I presume, is what I told the claims agent on the phone plus a link to my policy information. The claims adjustor came to look at my wounded car, then keyed in its VIN so he didn’t have to manually enter the details about the car, then consulted a parts database for part numbers and pricing and another database for the labor cost of the repairs. Then that got converted to a computer-generated report of the projected repair to me, the insurance company and the shop that will do the work.

So much data; so much information. And so little integration. When we focused our benchmark research on information management, that macro picture reflected what I’m experiencing: two-thirds of companies are still in the early stages of integration the information they rely on to operate. On the other hand, nearly three-fifths of businesses told us they view it as very important to improve information availability and readiness. So there’s hope.

Hope for the big picture, anyhow. As to repairing my convertible top and the jimmied storage compartments, that’s unfortunately another story.

Let me know your thoughts or come and collaborate with me on Facebook and  LinkedIn .


Alan Kay – VP Research Management


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