The DeVIL tool: spreadsheet and guide
The outcome of the first stage of DeVIL – the project on Determining the Value of Information Literacy for Employers – is an interactive spreadsheet. The spreadsheet allows the cross-referencing of areas of investment with business value indicators. In other words — if I invest in a particular facet of information know-how, systems or skills, in what aspects of the business’s operations might returns be seen? More detail on how to do this is provided below or in the downloadable PDF guide.
The spreadsheet is a work-in-progress and we welcome suggestions for revisions or additions. At the time of writing (October 2015) the data within is drawn from the three enterprises we used as case studies, and while they were drawn from different sectors (private, public and not-for-profit), and one was a very large enterprise while the others were SMEs, the sample nevertheless remains a limited one. Some sectors (the media, heavy industry) might have quite differing requirements.
Omissions or de-emphasis of potential areas of investment or particular returns are therefore an indication that we have not yet captured those areas of experience. We have therefore released the spreadsheet under a CC BY SA Creative Commons License (see below). Thus, adaptations can be made to the spreadsheet, and these subsequently shared under the same license.
If you do make adaptations or additions, otherwise use this tool in your own context, or have any comments to make about it, we would very much like to hear from you: contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
A guide to the tool and its employment
The tool works by the application of filters, in one of three ways:
- to filter the spreadsheet by value factor;
- to filter it by broad area of investment; and
- to filter it by specific area of investment.
More generally, how would the tool be employed in a workplace setting? The fundamental answer is that it is a basis for investigation and dialogue. It is not meant as a diagnostic tool for problems; it cannot reveal where information literacy deficits lie in an organisation. But it could suggest ways in which particular value factors could be affected by investments in particular areas. For instance, say that both the employees and management of your organisation recognised the value of developing more flexible and agile work processes. Filtering on this factor reveals the benefits of investing in communication tools like Lync and Yammer — but perhaps you already had concluded this. However, noting additionally that investments in opening up the office layout, and developing a ‘centre of excellence’ to promote new practices, might be options you had not considered.
Or, looking at this the other way around: a programme of investment is planned in outreach and developing client relations. The justification given for this is that this will improve the competitiveness of the firm, and the spreadsheet confirms this link; but also reveals various ways in which such investments can develop the information-handling capabilities of clients themselves, and bring returns to the company in areas such as meeting legal requirements and ethical principles. This might make to help a business case.
Generally then the spreadsheet displays relationships between areas for investment and potential returns.
DeViL – Determining the Value of Information Literacy for Employers by http://www.researchinfonet.org/infolit/ridls/transferable-skills/il-value/ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.