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On-demand Webinar: 4 Macrotrends & the Micro Pivots Information Professionals Can Make to Stay Ahead of Business Research Needs

October 27, 2020 (2 min read)

If we’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s that we live in an unpredictable, rapidly changing world. As an information professional, your knowledge, and skills—combined with data and emerging technologies—can help you prove AND expand your value to your colleagues or customers. How? That’s the question we asked in our recent SLA webinar—now available on demand. During the hour, we took a closer look at four macrotrends currently influencing your role and the micro pivots you can make to meet the needs of your audience—whether it’s your own C-suite, clients or the next generation of researchers. Read on for a sneak preview or watch the on-demand webinar. 

Agility is a must in a dynamic world 

Seeing trends and reflecting on the past is not enough today. Instead, information professionals need to think like entrepreneurs, pivoting to address the evolving information needs across your organization. Let’s take a closer look at the first macrotrend covered in the webinar and how you can adapt your considerable skills and expertise to address misinformation. 

When Oxford Dictionary added ‘fake news’ to its extensive lexicon in 2019, it highlighted the rise of misinformation. Fueled in large part by rampant sharing on social media, misinformation (and its purposeful counterpart, disinformation) makes your role more critical than ever. After all, if there’s anyone that understands the need to source quality information, it’s an information professional. Now, it’s up to you to address the problem. 

First, you have to understand how changing user habits contribute to the spread of misinformation. Late last year, Forbes reported that “55% of U.S. adults now get their news from social media either ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’”. We also know that most people start their research on the open web since the verb ‘googling’ gained acceptance. But the problem with social platforms and open web search engines is that both require users to navigate a maze of promotional sites and fake news to find the information they need. While that might not be a problem when a person is looking to replace a refrigerator, it’s a much bigger challenge when you have to sift through large volumes of information to find reliable information for academic research or strategic business research to inform investment decisions, manage risk, or anticipate market needs. 

So, what’s the first micro pivot that you can make? Acknowledge that the people you serve are likely doing some research on their own and give them the tools they need to do it well—media literacy best practices and fact-checking skills. For example, emphasize the importance of critical analysis of the content being viewed. There are five key factors to consider:  

  • Authorship—Who created this message?  
  • Format—What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?  
  • Audience—How might different people interpret the message differently?  
  • Content—What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in or omitted from this message?
  • Purpose—Why is this message being sent? Who stands to gain from it? 

By doing this, you prove your value in numerous ways. Not only are you adding value by empowering others to identify high-quality information, but you’re also building their confidence in the insights that you deliver. 

Ready to learn about the other macrotrends? Watch the on-demand webinar for micro pivots you can make to address disintermediation, disruptive technology, and the generational shift and divide.