Information Overload in Government: $31 Billion Spent Managing Information

If you’ve ever wondered what the typical government worker does in the course of his workday, it’s a good chance he spends a lot of time filing, deleting, or sorting paper and/or digital information.  According to research released today by Xerox and Basex, based on a survey conducted by Xerox and Harris Interactive, 58% of surveyed U.S. government and education workers spend nearly half of the typical workday doing just that.  Our research found that the effort to manage information costs local, state, and federal governments a minimum of $31 billion per year.

Today, with cutbacks in services looming if not already in place, tackling the problem of information overload is a good place to start eliminating some of these costs.  Taking such steps will speed up work processes, reduce stress levels, and save time and money.

The survey itself was quite revealing.  57% of those surveyed said that not finding the right information was more frustrating than being stuck in a traffic jam.  38% said that they had to redo reports or other work as a result.  24% said they later discovered they had used the wrong information in preparing their work, and 37% agreed that their organizations are drowning in paper (yes, paper: 50% of the processes of those surveyed are still paper based).

If you are curious about your organization’s exposure to Information Overload, visit our Information Overload Calculator.  The calculator allows you to estimate the impact of the problem on your own organization.

So far, well over 5000 people, in industries ranging from advertising to zoology, have determined their exposure.  If you haven’t yet put a dollar value to your exposure, please fasten your seatbelt and try it yourself.  You’ll be glad you did.

David M. Goldes is the president of Basex.

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