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From time to time we run across items of interest to our readers, and eventhough originally intended as a selling device, this information makes some very interesting points, and further suggests even more interesting possibilities.
A real niche? A new Business Plan? We all need info...
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 broker anything.
__ 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" of anything.
__ 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 you need.
__ 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 again.
__ 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 would anyone 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 Keith Londrie II
1-800-804-5832 or 1-319-524-1763
Design, Type and Graphics Business for Graphic Designers - What is an Information Broker?
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