We all know the value of information in our lives. Whether it’s a personal decision or a business initiated one, people need it. But the question is: who is to make the distinction between data and information? We all come across a whole lot of data daily, that may be significant or not. We filter what’s required and forget about the rest. Information is filtered and distilled data. Filtering and distillation can also alter its actual meaning and natural state. Therefore, in this blog we discover some ways to ensure that we’re using business intelligence derived from the right information for making critical management decisions.
Four key questions managers must ask themselves before making a decision:
1. Am I working with data or information?
2. What is it’s context?
3. How recent is it?
4. How was it derived or what is the source?
The first question is probably the most important. You must know what you’re dealing with here. If you see use of adjectives and conclusions drawn, it’s information. Not raw data. You very next concern must be whether this is guised to present a particular viewpoint or perspective. It makes a lot of difference if you take a decision based on someone’s propaganda to distort real facts. Therefore, the context and the intentions of the distillation process must be clear to you. The next consideration is whether data is recent enough to hold any value. Since it has a very short shelf life, you must ensure that its context and value is not lost out of time. The last and the most important consideration is how was it derived in the first place. The observer effect is what calls the shots here. The source can change the context to a great extent if the collection methodology and purpose is not clear.
Gathering intelligence for decision making requires users to be keen observers and not take the information provided on its face value alone. These probing questions will allow you to make sure that you’re working with clean and accurate data devoid of any influence or manipulations. Only then can you be sure of deriving true business intelligence for your organization. BI technology is also a great way to ensure accuracy of reports. SQL BI Platform provides advanced tools and techniques for all your BI needs and concerns.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)