In a period when the importance of information is overwhelming, and the sheer size of information is mammoth; both HTA and Lowe are making conscious efforts to build a system with the purpose of aiding in better and speedier dissemination of information.
Twenty one years back, HTA's 'Information Centre' was built with a similar objective - to fulfill a deeply felt need for information. Here, information from daily newspapers, Indian magazines and foreign journals is collated, classified and disseminated on a daily basis. Information Center is now present in three branches, namely Delhi, Kolkota and Mumbai.
Says a senior spokesperson at HTA Delhi, "The functions of the Information Center can be divided into two main categories - the first category is that of books and periodicals and second, that of collection, cataloguing, storage and dissemination of information. While we have strong systems in place, much is being done to constantly update it as well and convert it into a first class resource center - a central point of reference for all HTA offices."
Shares the spokesperson, " To constantly upgrade the service, we are streamlining data collection and storage so that it leaves us time to convert raw information into data sheet and bring a monthly write-up on any one recent trend. It also includes setting up a network of information sources by subscribing to a few good information services like the Dow Jones Interactive, FICCI's Business Information Portal Services etc. All this would ensure a vast information base most of it accessible online."
But given the pressure on bottomlines, why would an agency invest in such a department? "The contribution cannot be gauged by the billing a department, brings in. It's the value-added service, which it provides to the clients and agency overall. And it needs an agency like HTA to sustain such a department," comments the spokesperson.
In past many agencies have tried to establish such departments. But it takes deep pockets, people and foresight to have such an outfit running long enough to reap the fruit.
Recently at Lowe, Owle's World' - the new Intranet-based knowledge management system was started, with the objective of making learning and information more than just a work culture; the objective was to make the sharing of knowledge a fun experience.
With technology and Internet making information dissemination easier, and perhaps cheaper, market can expect more such initiatives.