Career Experience: Information Professional

Introduction:

Magnifying GlassTo the vast majority of people, the world contains an overwhelming amount of information stored in a seemingly endless number of locations. Finding the exact information you want exactly when you want it can be a great help, and it's the job of an Information Professional (also referred to as a "Database Researcher", "Data Miner", or "Information Retrieval Specialist") to make this possible.

Information Professionals are trained in the format and indexing used by each of a number of publicly-available (eg: the Internet) and subscription-based (eg: Ei Compendex) databases covering scientific, technical, business, marketing, product, vendor, news, and reference information, as well as the search syntax and commands required to effectively search through each one. Using this knowledge, they efficiently locate, retrieve, review, and deliver concise packages of information to their clients based on their specific information request.

My Job Responsibilities:

For over six years of my career I worked as a "Technical Specialist" for a small Information Aggregator &Technology-Transfer firm, where I performed a wide variety of tasks, including:
  • performing synergistic literature research on over 150 proprietary and publicly-available databases of publications covering science, technology, patents, trademarks, marketing, business, products, vendors, government, contract, and reference information
  • creating and implementing automatic "alerts" designed to notify the customer of new publications on their specific question or subject of interest
  • providing live, realtime product demonstrations to decision makers of companies considering the service for the first time
  • teaming with sales staff to retain customers reluctant to renew their contract
  • providing live, realtime remote training to customers subscribing to the service, in a one-to-one or one-to-many setting
  • authoring NTIS Bibliographic summaries, including appropriate indexing & keywords
  • testing database updates for completeness and accuracy
  • training and mentoring new hires
  • suggesting improvements to existing products & services
  • proposing new products & services to enhance revenue
  • ...and more!
During this time, I performed over 3,000 research requests per year for the firm's clients - or, an average of one every 33 minutes. Many of these requests involved highly technical topics for many of the United States' best-known firms.

Databases Researched:

Rolodex File The truly fantastic aspect of this job was not just that the literature research topic would change every thirty minutes or so, keeping boredom to a minimum, but also the sheer amount of published data available to research through when answering any given topic: Over 150 databases collectively containing tens of millions of well-written, accurate, peer-reviewed, heavily-indexed publications from well known and highly-respected database providers.

Here is a list of the databases I researched on a routine basis for my clients:

Database Name
Code
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Aerospace Database
Aluminum Industry Abstracts
Alloys Index
Business Dateline
Commerce Business Daily
Conference Papers Index
Dissertation Abstracts
Aerospace/Defense Markets & Technology
Coal Abstracts
Engineered Materials Abstracts
AEO
AIA
ASM
BDL
CBD
CRT
DMI
DMT
EDB
EIX
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Energy Information File
ESPACE-ACCESS
FINDEX
Freedonia Industry Analysis
Frost & Sullivan Market Reports
Federal Register Database
Inform
Ei Compendex*Plus
Materials Business File
New Product Announcements
EMA
EPO
FDX
FIA
FNS
FRP
INF
INS
MDB
NPA
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Official Patent Gazette
PROMT
Society of Automotive Engineers
Society of Manufacturing Engineers
U.S. Trademark File
Table of Contents
Thomas Register of American Manufacturers
Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports
Ward's Business Directory
Who's Who in Technology
PAT
PMT
SAE
SME
TMK
TOC
TRM
USG
WBD
WHO
31 Weldasearch WLD
Of course, when appropriate I also used any of the other 120 or so electronic databases and myriad of hardcopy reference materials available in-house, as well as the world wide web and old-fashioned networking by telephone, in order to satisfy my clients.

Clients Served:

Notepad At the peak of my work for this firm I was directly responsible for ensuring the satisfaction of over seventy (70) companies, each having a number of their employees using the service. Collectively, these companies covering a wide variety of industries, products, and services, and below I've listed a few of them:

  • Vehicle Tires
  • Polymer Compounding
  • Avionics
  • Centrifugal Pumps & Compressors
  • Security Products
  • Bicycles & Sporting Goods
  • Arcade & Amusement Devices
  • Automobile Manufacturer
  • Aviation & Defense Contractors
  • Household Appliances
  • R&D Laboratories
  • Electrical Products
  • Water Treatment Equipment
  • Airfoil Manufacture
  • etc
Many of these companies are well-known, but modesty (and, the advice of my lawyer) prevents me from listing them: If you would like to see them,   and I'll send you login credentials to access the password-protected content.

Customer Testimonials:

Thumbs Up!When you provide accurate and timely work to customers that's both relevant and thorough, you're bound to get unsolicited compliments. Here are just a few phrases from the many compliments I've received while working as an Information Researcher:

Compliments from Customers:
  • "Extremely knowledgeable technical support..."
  • "Our people did not find this material for two months. Now, I found it very quickly because of your help."
  • "You have saved us a lot of time and work."
  • "I did not give you a lot of [background] information, but you still came through."
  • "...his high quality of work should never be overlooked.”
  • "Thanks again for the great service you provide!"
Compliments from Co-workers:
  • "I truly believed we were going to flop [with our demonstration]... then, lo and behold, [he] just whips up all this amazing stuff...Unbelievable!"
  • "He suggested and discussed technical areas that could only come from [one] knowledgeable about the disciplines they were inquiring about."
  • "...he's an astoundingly talented Technical Team person."
  • "They [the Customer] only want this Technical Specialist."
  • "Demonstration went exceptionally well...these guys think [he] IS God...should get Purchase Agreement."
  • "Hope you'll be willing to share your techniques when we move into our new building."
If you would like to read the full text of the compliments, along with the companies impressed enough to send them,   and I'll send you login credentials to access the password-protected content.

For More Information...

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