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What is an Information Broker?
What do You Want to Know Today?
By Keith Londrie
An answer to the question:
What is an Information Broker?
The term "Information Broker" is really a misnomer. If any
profession prides itself on accuracy, it is the profession of
Information Brokering. An Information Broker doesn't actually
Webster's pocket dictionary defines a broker as "an agent who
buys and sells for a fee". An information broker actually has
far more in common with an attorney or a doctor than with
brokers who deal in such things as real estate. They don't sell
information and they don't take a fee for arranging such a sale.
Just like doctors, lawyers, CPAs, and the like, they charge a
fee for professional services. They are not actually "brokers"
An Information Broker isn't simply a librarian, though there is
nothing wrong with librarians. An Information Broker isn't
simply one who "goes online" and searches for the answers to
your questions and problems; although this may or may not be a
part of his/her duties. An Information Broker isn't someone who
"has all the answers", and to say so would be ridiculous because
no one has ALL the answers to any given problem. An Information
Broker, or IB as it is known in the profession, is a
professional who is skilled in a number of areas, that combined,
provide you with the best chance of obtaining the information
IBs use a combination of online, offline, and physical search
techniques depending on the clients' needs. Every assignment is
different and the IB must determine the appropriate method of
obtaining the clients' requested information, while remaining
within the clients' budget.
Once the appropriate method of obtaining the information has
been determined, the IB forms his/her plan and goes after the
necessary information. Obtaining one piece of information may
lead the IB in the direction of another. So the process is
repeated and the IB approaches the information gathering process
Once all the required information is located and retrieved, the
IB then presents it in the manner most appropriate for his/her
client. This may mean summarizing the information or verifying
the correctness of it. Many times raw information must be
"cleaned up" and most IBs are very good at this.
Why do I need an Information Broker?
Although most people connected to the Internet or an online
service such as Compuserve or America Online have the ability to
do online searches, they simply are not aware of many of the
avenues available to find the needed information. Yes, people
can locate information in many cases, but it is the experienced
IB that knows and has access to many many many more avenues of
information retrieval than the average individual or firm. After
all, this is the IBs' specialty. And remember, online searching
is not the only way of accessing information.
So, just as you would use an attorney for legal work or a
doctor for medical work, you would use an Information Broker for
access to needed information. Certainly, if you had a major
laceration on your arm requiring stitches, you would not attempt
to sew it up yourself. You would seek the services of the
appropriate professional (a doctor in this case). So the next
time you need information services, seek the services of the
correct professional, an IB!
This article was written by Rev. Keith Londrie, owner of
Information Services, your full service information firm.
Contact us for a FREE quote on your research project today by
sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also call us toll free at 1-800-440-3861 or 1-319-524-
1763 or visit us on the web at http://www.info-resource.com/
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Tags: Sales and Marketing