How to cut through the sea of data
Whether we know it or not, we use Information Strategies in our lives all the time. In fact, in modern society, by not employing an Information Strategy it is almost impossible to be totally effective. We now live in the Age of Information. We not only expect all of our Information needs instantly available to us at all times, but we actually have far too much information available to us to be able to consume, and this is just in our personal lives. In fact, the majority of the worlds work force have better access and control of information in areas such as social media, personal finance and news than they do in their job. But that trend is changing. The world of business information is now catching up with the social information revolution. However, the same question is being asked; how do I cut through the sea of data and focus on the relevant information that drive the right behaviours and insights? We come full circle. So for an organisation aiming to achieve its business goals, having an Information Strategy is a fundamental pillar of success, not a luxury item.
The Comparative User
Let‘s stick with that theme. As mentioned earlier, we apply Strategies on a daily basis to help us through the constant barrage of information. Some choose to filter out their information content by managing outlets to target areas of interest (we’ll call that person The Comparative User). They frequently use tailored information to drive decisions, whether its traffic updates or weekend events, this profile has developed a strategy to cut out all of the noise and focus their information on comparative relevance, not volume.
The Voracious User
Others, have a thirst for more, not less, and as a result have reams of information ready for scrutiny at all times, always looking for the gems that drive insight (we’ll call this person The Voracious User). This profile feels there is benefit in having a broad understanding of everything, to inform and shape their life.
The Focused User
And then there is the profile who only wants the weekly updates to glance at, as anything else would be a distraction (we’ll call this person The Focused User). They see the value in having the key information points, but are reluctant to invest anymore time than that for their information updates.
Whether its more or less, conscious or unconscious, having a personal Information Strategy is a necessary part of operating in modern day society. And I would encourage you to take a moment at this point and ask yourself; which profile do I fit?
Business Information Strategy
So, how does this translate to a business? Well lets look at the profile of business user as a starting point. We have the user who frequently needs to see current and comparative performance to make decisions, with a reasonable level of detail to make sure that decision is effective (The Comparative User). We have the analysts and strategists who grind out data and reports from multiple sources looking for trends and insights to drive performance forward (The Voracious User). And we have the busy executive manager who is interested in at-a-glance KPI’s that are as easy to access as possible but also provides the right level of focus to do their job (The Focused User).
The parallels between interacting with information in our working and personal lives share a lot of similarities. But what are the differences? Well, where as we have applications and social media platforms to help us manage and consolidate our personal information needs at the push of a button, most businesses still have very disparate information landscapes, little direction to focus the right information to the right user and do not empower the users to own their data and information. All concepts simplified in Social Media and Information platforms and enabled by an Enterprise Information Strategy. If we expect that level of control in our personal life, why not in our professional life?
Achieve your business goals by developing an information strategy
By developing an Information Strategy in your organisation you can deliver the right focus, in the right format to the right user to make a significant difference to their productivity and success, and as a by-product help an organisation to achieve their business goals. But an Information Strategy also delivers a blueprint to leveraging data in a more innovative and insightful way than your competitors for marginal advantages. And in the age of information, that is one of the biggest assets an organisation can have.
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