Do you have a collection of materials but no record of what the individual items are or where you can find them? A consultant with cataloging/indexing/abstracting skills can help you organize your repository.
Independent Information Professionals can help manage a company’s external and internal communications needs – from developing a communications plan to implementation, monitoring, and assessment.
As defined by the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), competitive intelligence is a systematic and ethical program for gathering, analyzing, and managing external information that can affect a company's plans, decisions, and operations. Business intelligence refers to the software applications and tools that aid in analysis of business data. You’ll find AIIP members with specialized skills in both areas.
Independent Information Professionals are expert in use of both subscription and free resources to track research and publications in specific subjects and fields. Save time and money by hiring a professional to deliver bibliographies of relevant output to your team. Depending on your needs, Independent Information Professionals can create summaries (see abstracting above) and synthesize/overview trends in the specific subject(s) of interest, as well as obtain full-text for requested items. In searching the AIIP directory, we suggest combining this Service Offered with a Subject Expertise.
Effective organization of a collection of information, or data, requires expert design to ensure efficient retrieval. Database design entails clarifying the purpose of the database, its users, and the type of data it will contain; the relationships between data elements; and the information that needs to be recorded about each type of data. An Independent Information Professional will be familiar with both standards of database design and the software used to create databases.
Designing engaging and effective websites and databases requires knowledge of principles of user experience (UX). An Independent Information Professional with this expertise can help you understand your users and customers and how they interact with your website. Applying this understanding to the development of your website can help make it easier for your customers to locate and act on the product information they find – ultimately creating more passionate customers for your business.
Need help in identifying granting agencies and understanding grant requirements? Does your in-house staff lack expertise in grant writing requirements? Contact an AIIP member with this skill set! Independent Information Professionals also specialize in prospect research, i.e., identifying prospective donors to your organization or cause.
These activities refer to the cycle of collecting, storing, distributing and archiving or disposing of information in an organization. Effective information management also requires knowledge of taxonomy (see below) and content management principles to ensure easy retrieval of company information. Information professionals can guide you through the assessment phase and determine if you need specialized software to implement the process.
How do you harness the collective intelligence of your organization? Independent Information Professionals specializing in Knowledge Management (KM) help to capture, develop, share and use organizational knowledge so it aligns with the company’s business objectives including continuous improvement and competitive advantage.
Information professionals consulting in this area can help you make decisions for your information needs or information center regarding IT, Web sites, space planning, collection development, digitization projects, fundraising, staffing, strategic planning, and more. The first step is typically conducting a needs analysis, with subsequent steps determined based on the outcome – and can cover research into appropriate solutions, costing, stakeholder communications, to implementation.
Need help in preparing for a court case, making a hiring decision, locating an individual? PI work isn’t all cloak and dagger. It requires skilled fact-finding, keen observation, and outstanding communication and analytical skills. Independent Information Professionals working in this area will have a license, where required by law, access to subscription and free information resources, and the skill to both find and analyze the facts about specific individuals and companies that you need to make decisions.
Is your team having trouble moving projects from concept to completion? A project manager can help you define the project scope, identify contingencies, establish the action plan, see that it is executed, monitor progress, and bring it to a successful close.
Feeling overwhelmed by either paper or digital documents? Worried about how to recover documents after a disaster? An information professional can help you organize materials, identify what is confidential and valuable – and what can be destroyed, set up a system for tracking items, and ensure that materials are physically secure, accessible when needed, and usable.
Interested in learning more about a particular sector or industry to help make business decisions? A research project might cover an overview of a sector, dive deep into a specific market, provide an analysis of company profiles and financials, include SWOT and environmental scans to help evaluate a new product concept, and much more. Independent Information Professionals save valuable time because of their familiarity with the many tools and resources available to research these questions – online, fee- based, public records, etc.
Need a background check on a prospective hire? Curious whether new regulations are being considered by a government agency that might impact your business? Need to understand state or local statutes to ensure compliance? An Independent Information Professional with skills in this type of research knows how to obtain this information efficiently using appropriate tools and can deliver insightful analysis of its implications for your business.
Understanding the needs of your market is critical for business success. A market research project can help identify your customers’ pain points and drive targeted product development. Services range from concept/product testing, brand/image evaluation, market segmentation, feasibility studies, and more. Independent Information Professionals with skills in this type of research can also help create effective marketing plans to help ensure that you are spending marketing dollars on initiatives most appropriate for your consumer base.
In contrast to secondary research, which reviews and analyzes existing information on a topic, primary research involves data collection and analysis from individuals and subject matter experts. Independent Information Professionals with expertise in this area can help you select, develop and execute appropriate research designs and sampling protocols. They will have expertise in statistics and standards of scientific research.
While much information has been digitized, there is still a great deal of public data and records that are available in print form and held in physical spaces. Independent Information Professionals’ services cover both digital and print records, and range from research on court filings, onsite searches at courts and administrative agencies, to background checks, and more.
You name it, an Independent Information Professional (IIP) can find information on a topic of your choice – utilize the search and analytical skills of an IIP to save you time to focus on your core business. If searching on this term, we encourage you to also select a particular area of subject expertise for the most precise retrieval.
Are your customers engaged in social media? Of course, they are! A consultant can help establish a social media strategy appropriate for your company and brand, define its content, select the necessary tools and apps to utilize, execute, monitor, and evaluate the plan.
While there are many tools to help you conduct surveys, making sure you ask the right questions and phrase them properly requires expertise in survey design. An Independent Information Professional can help clarify the research question and the population to ask, create questions that will lead to reliable and valid information, select the most appropriate data collection methodology (personal interviews, focus group, mail or email collection, etc.), as well as analyze and interpret the findings.
Are your customers having trouble navigating your website to find like items – such as black flat sandals? A taxonomy can help organize your product offerings in a hierarchy that categories them by specific qualities (such as color, style, heel height, etc.). An Independent Information Professional (IIP) with skills in taxonomy/ thesaurus development can help create an effective tool to help both internal staff and external users/customers navigate a volume of information or products. IIPs with skills in this area will be familiar with American National Standards Institute/National Information Standards Organization guidelines for thesauri development.
Need assistance in staff and/or customer training? Information professionals with these skills will develop and deliver training and presentation materials in their areas of expertise.
Handling documents or communications in multiple languages? Use an information professional to provide translations for you. To find AIIP members with specific language skills, please see the Languages listing and add them to your search.
No in-house capability to create and manage your website or your company intranet? An information professional can help with design, technology, launch, and ongoing management. If you’re interested in this type of consultant, we also suggest you look for one that offers Design and User Experience services.
Having trouble keeping your website fresh with new and updated content? An Independent Information Professional with writing and editorial skills can help provide blog postings, white papers, advocacy materials, and more.
An information professional with these skills can help you by authoring or editing web documents, magazine articles, book chapters, and more. These types of services also typically will include helping you navigate the publication process, including identifying appropriate distribution outlets and negotiating contracts.