ASIS Meeting "Celebrates Change" with Blockbuster Success

By Lunin, Lois F. | Information Today, December 1992 | Go to article overview

ASIS Meeting "Celebrates Change" with Blockbuster Success


Lunin, Lois F., Information Today


The Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science (ASIS) held in Pittsburgh, PA, October 25-29, richly rewarded its unanticipated high number of attendees. There were five stellar plenary sessions in four days, dozens of informative concurrent technical sessions running from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and special evening meetings. And, for the first time. in many years, the Society's financial status is in the black!

The theme of this year's meeting was "Celebrating Change: Information Management on the Move." The title was chosen almost two years ago, certainly a prescient selection. Regardless of title, a common thread of wisdom from speakers seemed to run throughout the plenaries: provide quality information. Also, user demands for the right information in the right place at the right time and in the right format have multiplied.

Display is a component of quality. The user should be able to see the significant information for what can be life-saving decisions. If the data relating the weather and the Challenger's O-rings had been displayed differently, it is possible that the fatal flight would have been delayed, with the astronauts and teacher alive today.

Total Quality

Doing the right thing the first time means a cultural change for us, explained John Marous, Chair Emeritus, Westinghouse Corporation. The model to drive the change to total quality consists of customer, process, people, and leadership. For example, satisfy the customer so he/she will not want to do business with anyone else and you get 100 percent of the market share. Reach out and anticipate customers' needs even before they know they have the need. "The greatest weakness in our country today," said Marous, "is that very few of our businesses monitor customer status, needs, and reactions." Total quality is about doing analysis before investing in a process and learning to "see" differently--to pull out the information needed to make the right decisions.

More advice from Marous: an information system enables us to measure; we never seem to focus on that. Know the process to know what to measure. If you can't measure, you can't control. Survival, cultural change, and leadership start at the top. Change is a difficult and long process and takes time. It involves every person in the organization.

Bottlenecks and Filters

When we design any complex information system we should ask: What is the bottleneck factor? As Herbert Simon, Professor of Computer Science and Psychology at Carnegie-Mellon University emphasized, information is not the key factor; rather, it is the scarcity of human attention to the information.

Questions to ask include: What information should flow through so that humans can process the information? How can we trust the filter? How do we know that the key information is in the system and not lost?

"No computer should be able to enter the door of a company," he advised, "unless it consumes three orders of data more than it puts out. Think of the computer as a filter of information with the computer filtering input intelligently."

Often called the father of artificial intelligence (AI), Simon's area of research has been the simulation of scientific discovery. To determine what is creativity, he developed a program named Bacon. He gave the computer the same data that Ohm, Kepler, and others had available when they made their now famous discoveries. He asked Bacon to find the same laws. Bacon did it.

In his windup, Simon made several points.

* Design and communication between organizations are just beginning to be understood.

* Design has to begin with understanding the users--their responsibilities, capabilities, and overall capacity to use information.

* Focus on the bottleneck factor, which is human attention.

* Hence, future systems must rely on capacities to filter and analyze what the company or individual receives. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

ASIS Meeting "Celebrates Change" with Blockbuster Success
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.