The ARMA International Conference was fascinating this year. Traditionally, speakers are very supportive of attendees’ needs and the Expo Floor is occupied with vendors who ask, “Where are the decision makers?” This year, thanks to the industry’s consumption of information governance (IG), vendors solicited attendees for long, introductory sessions to their products and services. The records managers were re-identified as decision makers and they were in the house.

The Bellevue / Eastside chapter of ARMA (#becarma) recently asked me to provide some thoughts on IG. As I assembled my sketchbook for the presentation, I focused selfishly on the research questions that piqued my curiosity most. I collated the IG terms and definitions most frequently used on Slideshare, LinkedIn and Twitter; I reviewed ARMA’s new Information Governance certification; and I leveraged the useful Excel plug-in from Next Analytics to analyze nine days of social media activity centered around three hashtags: #recordsmanagement, #informationgovernance and #infogov.

Information Governance vs. Records Management

I collected these definitions of information governance from Slideshare (author emphasis).

  • "An unavoidable strategy to help organizations to be ready on time for the 3.0 model (of information management)."
  • "'Governance' is what information management is mostly all about. Information management is the process by which those who set policy guide those who follow policy. Governance concerns power, and applying an understanding of the distribution and sharing of power to the management of information technologies."
  • "Information governance enforces desirable behaviors in the creation, use, archiving and disposition of all corporate information."
  • Records Management is focused on the retention schedule … information governance is focused on enabling organizations to get the work done.”

When surveyed on the difference between information governance and records management, colleagues also offered:

  • Records management is static where information governance is dynamic.
  • Records management is reactive where information governance is proactive.
  • Records management is focused on the retention schedule where information governance is focused on enabling the business to get the work done.

I think it’s worthy to note that the three lobbyists for IG (professional organizations, vendors and individuals) utilize different terms on social media.

Information Management, most common information governance keywords

While it’s true that Twitter can be reminiscent of 1870s Deadwood, it peerlessly embodies raw social mood. Next Analytics has built a very simple Excel plugin that you can borrow for fifteen days. It offers up to nine days of compiled raw data. I discovered:

Information management, nine days of information governance analysis, twitter survey


information management, information governance, records management, twitter observations

Information governance is positioned to become the zeitgeist of records and information management. We should monitor the growth of information governance carefully in the next year.

By the way, this is the raw data I promised at the conclusion of the Google+ Hangout during #arma2013, which you can find here.

Editor's Note: Be sure to check out more of Mimi's information governance writings in Information Governance and Managing Uncertainty: Records Are Your Organization's Signal