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Information Research Bureau

 

What is Information Research?

Research is a structured effort to accumulate facts with an aim of discovering answers to specific questions. A research usually employs systematic methodologies aided by a wide variety of tools and resources to retrieve accurate and reliable factual findings. The ability to produce accurate findings in a report format, derived from factual data, is a skill that differentiates from one professional researcher to another.

There are a few types of research available, each of which commonly refers to the type of findings needed. For example, a Marketing Research is a research focuses on marketing aspects of a product or company, and utilizes statistical research methodologies, such as regression analysis, correlation tests, hypothesis tests and others, to solve deterministic or stochastic marketing problems.

Similarly, Information Research is also a research, but focuses on a much wider different types of information. To site examples, information research may require the search of a company's financial or management information, industry information, competitive market information, project feasibility studies, people search, legal proceedings search, so on, and so forth. An Information research may also encompass the study of market research. Information research plays a very vital role in the Information Service Industry.

 

Information Provider vs. Information Broker.

An Information Provider (IP) is one who provides an information. He is the provider, i.e., the originator or source of the information. He may collect information from a variety of sources, and produces an information output. An author is an information provider. Survey research companies, marketing research companies, news wire agencies, government statistics department, the Office of Registrar of Companies are also examples of information providers.

An Information Broker (IB), on the other hand, is one who simply relays information from one party to another. He is an intermediary, i.e., he only provides the necessary resources so that information can be relayed from an one party (Information Provider) to another (Information Seeker). A publishing house is an Information Broker. So are libraries, commercial data search retailers and internet search houses.

The internet, however, falls under a very special category within the information service industry. Internet can serve both as an information provider and as an information broker. Web sites of companies, individuals, governmental agencies, associations and the like, are information providers. Whereas, internet-access service providers, such as MCI, AOL, CompuServe and Jaring are actually information brokers, or commonly known as "Service Providers.

 

Who Requires the Services of an Information Provider?

The types of companies and industries that will utilize the services of an information provider are countless. Publishers, authors, capital security companies, investors, investment holding companies, law firms, financial institutions, commercial researchers, venture capitalists and academicians are just to name a few such examples.

In most developing countries, information is not as easily available. Libraries, even National Libraries, are not well equipped with adequate quality research volume. If they are, the information available is not current and updated.

Internet, the world's largest ever-known library, is an information Mecca of almost every topic imaginable. But how does one find the required information? And how does one determine the accuracy and authenticity of such document? It is said that the world's collection of more than 1500 search engines are capable of listing only 20% of web page sites actually available in the internet.

Does your organization require the services of an Information Provider? Chances are, the answer is yes. Yes, if your organization is a company looking to diversify into new business areas which it is not familiar with. Yes, if your organization is a company that needs to know what its competitors are up to. Yes, if your organization requires specific information at the speed of bullet trains.

The requirement of "information" is the very core reason why certain companies employ information-providing personnel whom are commonly known as Research, Business Development or even Special Projects Manager/Director. However, the practicality of engaging such personnel on a full-time basis in today's productivity-conscious business environment is highly questionable. Not only are the costs associated with engaging an experienced researcher/information broker is high (taking into consideration the person's salary, benefits, bonuses, travelling and entertainment claims), but the availability of such persons is very limited.


And once you have found one with calibre thay meets your expectation, as in most reported cases, the person's ability shall be under-utilized. Let's face it, how often does an average company requires project feasibility studies to be exercised? Every month? Every year?

Today, a new trend in the Information Service Industry is emerging, in accordance to the prevailing Information Revolution. Companies with sporadic and ad-hoc research requirements which had traditionally dependent upon in-house information-providing personnel had today prefer to outsource this "function" to professional information providers.

 

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