Many sectors, including tertiary education, generate and manage significant volumes of data.

The communication and information revolution, along with the increasing value of knowledge as a primary driver for growth, and the convergent impact of globalisation, mean that data management is increasingly critical. Each staff member, each student, generates more data points than before, and a tertiary education organization needs to manage external reporting obligations as well as its own internal data management needs. 

Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus (AIC) staff Patricia Ostate, Barnaby Pace and Yury Zhukov examined internal communications, individual work preferences and knowledge accessibility, through document analysis and thematic analysis of interviews with members of AIC academic and professional teams/ departments. They found that processes may vary significantly across different departments depending on personal preferences of the key internal stakeholders. Beneficial information is often compartmentalised without making it available to stakeholders outside of their teams.

The team recommends that organisations create a universally accessible flowchart of organisational knowledge that depicts how knowledge gets recorded across various systems. This stocktake would identify any gaps to be filled and also elimination of systems that do not fit. This is likely to reap benefits in increased engagement and productivity. Good knowledge management depends on culture as well as systems, so developing a culture of sharing knowledge and information would also be beneficial to an organisation.

June 2022

Image credit: San Jose Public Library. Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license CC BY-SA 2.0.