In the December issue of Information Today, you can find a short executive biography of yours truly.
Jamie Babbitt of Information Today distilled a conversation we had but if you are interested in a more expansive view, see below.
1. What does your new position as ecommerce manager entail?
As Alacra’s E-commerce Manager, I am responsible for the strategy and growth of Alacra Store and Alacra Premium. This involves working with clients and publishers to make research accessible and available to researchers, investors, bankers, librarians or anyone needing premium business information.
There is never enough information I can provide for users. Deciding on what users could benefit from most is tough from a technical standpoint and a business standpoint. I spend a great deal of time figuring out new ways we can extract more usefulness from meta data and speed up the process of obtaining premium information.
The search engines have been a challenge as well considering the Alacra Store (www.alacrastore.com) is over 100 million pages, it can be a serious task to optimize for Google, Bing, Yandex and Baidu.
We just completed the first phase of a major overhaul of the Alacra Store. I am hoping to complete the second phase by the end of the year.
I have also been working on applying computer science tactics like machine learning and pattern recognition to help end users find the right information quickly as possible. We are still testing this but some of the initial results have been fascinating.
I am currently working on my Master’s degree at Columbia University in Information and Knowledge Strategy. Armed with that, I see a future in bridging the gap between Information Science and Computer Science. I envision helping build a next generation organizational knowledge management department that could span the large gap between data and the cultivation, distribution and management of knowledge.
The information industry is in flux right now and understanding that with the rate of data being collected has outpaced our ability to glean actionable information. Publishers have a tremendous opportunity here and like many industries that have been transformed by the information age, the information industry needs to look forward and progress with innovation. The organization leading that charge will have a serious advantage. The last thing we should be doing is digging our heels in.