Leading the Profession by Example: SUSAN GOODMAN

By Swartz, Nikki | Information Management, July/August 2017 | Go to article overview

Leading the Profession by Example: SUSAN GOODMAN


Swartz, Nikki, Information Management


Susan Goodman, FAI, IGP, CRM, CIP, CIPP/US, CIPM, has almost as many credentials behind her name as there are letters in the alphabet. She possesses more than 30 years of experience and has earned professional certifications in records and information management (RIM), information governance (IG), and privacy. She has led RIM programs for diverse entities, including in financial services, utilities, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, legal, and government, both in-house and as a consultant.

Beginning Her Career

Goodman's career began after she completed her master's degree (and post-master's work) in library and information science, including records management, at the SUNY Albany School of Information Science and Policy. She was hired as a deputy records manager and then quickly was promoted to records manager for the City and County of Albany, N.Y. She next moved to the New York State Archives and Records Administration as a senior records analyst. In these positions, she tackled IG, RIM, and privacy issues and generated and monitored compliance with RIM and privacy-related policies.

"My (master's) degree enabled me to get a first job with very little experience because my then-boss had a line item in the budget intended for something else that had a low budget - he was counting on the fact that that I would consider the experience worthwhile," she said. "I wanted the best learning experience I could possibly have and was thrown into deep water right away."

Helping Shape the Profession

But Goodman did more than just swim; she created her own strokes. She has helped shape the RIM profession by taking leadership roles in professional associations, teaching graduate-level RIM courses, and contributing as a conference presenter, author, and editor of key industry articles and publications - even as she was working toward a Ph.D. in electronic records policy development and business law at the University of Michigan School of Information.

As the founder, president, and CEO of Infoflo Consulting LLC, which specializes in RIM, IG, and privacy, her passion for the profession is stronger than ever. As a forward-thinking, recognized thought leader in RIM, IG, and privacy, Goodman is in an ideal position to assess the state of the profession and offer advice to her IG and RIM peers.

Tracking IG's Growing Relevance

When Goodman first started in the RIM profession, very few people had heard of the field.

"I was often asked what kind of 'records' - as in music - I dealt with," Goodman recalled. "There were very few available positions in RIM when I finished my MLS."

How things have changed. Today, stricter laws and regulations are in place for managing information. Companies that are negligent or have ill intent related to records retention and disposition may face legal action and enormous fines. News of information breaches are common, damaging the victims' reputation and bottom line. Because of these things, the importance of RIM and IG has grown the past decade.

"As data proliferated through advanced technologies, the need for RIM - especially electronic records management and data management, as well as IG as an umbrella function - became even greater," Goodman said. "Records and information management is an integral component of information governance within organizations - an essential overarching function that is needed to optimally leverage information assets at the least risk and cost."

Aligning RIM and Other IG Functions

According to Goodman, practicing RIM effectively has always included incorporating into the program the RIM-, privacy-, and information security-related requirements of other IG functions (i.e., legal, compliance, the business, privacy, security, and IT/technology). These functions need RIM to meet their requirements and accomplish their goals. Having an effective alignment of these functions under an IG "umbrella" facilitates success for RIM and all other IG functions, and RIM professionals are well-positioned to transition to IG if they so choose. …

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