Making the most of information is a priority for many businesses. However, a study by information management firm Iron Mountain has found that a lack of understanding between those who manage and those who use information is making it much harder to achieve this goal. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The study found that 89% of UK business leaders don't fully understand what their information managers do. In return, 56% of UK records and information managers admit they don't know exactly what senior business leaders want and need from information - with 66% confused about the information needs of colleagues in marketing, manufacturing, finance and other departments.

The study shows just one in ten (10%) of the business leaders surveyed had complete confidence in their organisation's ability to extract the full value from its information.

These trends and their impact are echoed elsewhere, with one global study finding that just 27% of firms say their employees have access to the data they need, and 42% admit that access to their data is cumbersome.

"In today's knowledge-driven world our study has revealed an unexpected obstacle on the road toward return on information," said Sue Trombley, Director of Professional Services for Iron Mountain. "This must be addressed as a matter of urgency if organisations are to have any chance of extracting the full value from their data.

However, the study also found that 88% of records and information managers have confidence in their ability to help businesses maximise the value of their information. This suggests that the observed gap is being created by a lack of understanding and poor communication rather than an inability to deliver. "Business leaders need to better understand what records and information managers can contribute; at the same time information professionals need to align more closely with business needs," concluded Trombley.