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Title: The information audit : theory versus practice
Author: Buchanan, Steven
ISNI:       0000 0001 3507 3400
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2008
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The information audit (IA) provides a method to identify, evaluate, and manage an organisation's information resources. With such a central information management role, it might be reasonable to assume that the IA would be an accepted element of information management best practice, particularly given the growth of information based services, and growing recognition of information as a primary resource and tradable commodity. However, there is evidence that the IA is neither accepted nor commonly practiced, primarily due to methodological problems, most notably the lack of a standard approach, limited empirical evidence, and an ambiguous sense of purpose. The objectives of this research were to firstly, identify and/or develop a generic and universally applicable information audit framework; and secondly, to test the usability of the framework. A qualitative approach supported by case studies was adopted. A methodologies were critically reviewed to identify an appropriate method to select as the basis for a generic and universal approach. The selected methodology was Buchanan & Gibb (1998), which was found to provide a complete methodology and comprehensive toolset. The methodology was tested in two stages: firstly, two case studies were conducted by the author to pilot and test completeness of design; and secondly, three usability trials were conducted by independent auditors under the observation of the author. In the stage one tests, the methodology was successfully trialled, proving to be both complete and usable and a suitable basis for a generic and universally applicable framework; however the usability trials, while also successfully completed, identified that the methodology requires some further instructional depth and tools/templates to be suitable for universal adoption, most notably for conducting interviews, process modelling, and qualitative data analysis. Recommendations are made accordingly for the refinement of the methodology. This research also developed and successfully trialled a scope matrix for identifying and managing IA scope, and mapped a direct methodological relationship from the information audit to information systems architecture development, potentially redefining and extending the value of the IA by demonstrating that A output provides direct input to related information system development frameworks and processes. Further notable output includes the development of two templates for capturing process data and information resource data respectively.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral