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Today, I want to touch on a digital transformation best practice that you might not be aware of, or using to its full potential: Building an insights library for yourself, or for your team, or for your business.
What is an insights library? It can be different things to different people, and it can take on many shapes, but at its core, it is a collection of articles, white papers and reports that 1) will teach you something about a topic that you need to be more fluent with, and 2) will serve as a reference resource whenever you need it.
For instance, say that your business suddenly wants to start investing in robotic process automation (RPA) or wants to dig deeper into data monetization. One of two things can happen when that moment comes: One, no one really knows where to start, and you end up wasting several months trying to do research, arranging briefings with technology partners and analysts, and sorting out your objectives, strategy, roadmap, and game plan. Or two, you can consult your insights library, quickly pull out a few reports and white papers – along with ready-to-use data, executive summaries, charts, graphs, SWOTs, insights into how to implement, deploy and scale new processes and technologies – and get things rolling fast, with clarity and purpose.
Bonus: If you did your homework and are willing to take point on that kind of technology or process implementation project, you might instantly become one of its principal instigators, meaning that you will be given an opportunity to lead and manage it. If nothing else, being recognized as an internal thought leader and go-to resource for technology and digital transformation questions isn’t the worst way to increase your value within an organization and enjoy a little extra job security. But for someone looking for an opportunity to lead, to learn, to grow, and to take on more responsibilities within an organization, this is a pretty straightforward way to get there.
The trick then, is to build that insights library. How? The process is fairly simple:
One way is to bookmark online content like articles, white papers, reports, videos, and even links to tweets, and diligently organize your bookmark folder by theme or category (IoT, IIoT, AI, XR, RPA, Collaboration, Edge Compute, etc.).
Another way is to create folders, either on your device or in your cloud, and populate them with relevant white papers, reports, and the occasional PowerPoint deck. Just don’t forget to archive studies and reports that contain data more than 12 months old.
The dual trick to doing this well, aside from being diligent about creating specific folders (your filing system), is to 1) make a habit of looking for those types of resources at least once weekly, and 2) make a point to save or bookmark that kind of content anytime you run into it. If you don’t do it right there and then, you may never find that resource again – at least not without spending a good amount of time digging for it. So, finding and immediately filing reports and content that belong in your library needs to become part of your daily operational mindset. Having your folders and methodology already worked out in advance makes the process as easy as tapping your screen for a couple of seconds or hitting a few simple commands on your keyboard.
As for where to go to find these kinds of resources, search engines are always useful, but following tech journalists, tech analysts, tech thought leaders, and tech companies with established track records of expertise in certain fields are also really good places to start.
Futurum Research is far from the only analyst firm you should follow, but while you’re here, diving a little deeper into our extensive research library, our timely articles (searchable by topic), tweets, LinkedIn content, tech podcasts, and live tech event coverage, will get you started. If you don’t already subscribe to our content, or follow all of our analysts on social platforms, or make a point to check in with our Insights blog once or twice a week (Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays are usually pretty good days to get caught up), spend a couple of minutes getting organized, and then let automation and your calendar’s built-in features do their thing.
Futurum analysts to follow on Twitter if you don’t already:
- Daniel Newman
- Shelly Kramer
- Olivier Blanchard
- Fred McClimans
- Ron Westfall
- Sarah Wallace
- James Kobielus
- Futurum Research
You can also access our research library here, and download some of our most recent reports, like The Future of Data Monetization, and Exploring the AI Journey: The Value of the Service Provider. We release new technology-themed reports every few weeks, so it pays to keep an eye out for those.
If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to drop them in the comments, or to reach out to us on LinkedIn and Twitter.