From Information Overload to the Right Information - inner image

From Information Overload to the Right Information

Our weekly meetings involve the thorough analysis of reports spanning sales, finance, and human resources. Yet, the results we desire remain elusive, and a financial crunch persists even in the face of revenue growth. Employee morale has not reached the desired levels, a common concern echoed by our clients.
In an era characterized by the proliferation of social media and the vast availability of information on organizational management, entrepreneurs find themselves inundated with data. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to acknowledge that these variables are industry-specific. Pricing strategies commonly employed in retail (B2C) are ill-suited for the B2B category, while sales tactics significantly differ across various industries. The content available is often generic, tailored to mass audiences rather than industry and region-specific needs. What works in south may not work in the nation’s capital.
But the cardinal rule is that the variables change according to the industries. The most common and widely used pricing strategies in retail i.e., B2C will never fit into B2B category. The sales strategy and techniques would drastically differ from industry to industry. The content is targeted for a mass audience and not industry specific.
Not all data is created equal. If you work in a team, you know that if a certain dashboard breaks you drop everything and jump on it, whereas other issues can wait until the end of the week. There’s a good reason for this. The first may mean that your entire company is missing data whereas the former may have no significant impact.
However, keeping track of all your business-critical data as you scale your team and grow the number of data models and dashboards can be difficult.
Despite company efforts to update their information flows with sophisticated new software’s and collaboration platforms, high volumes of information are increasingly the norm for most of the workforce.

Burden, Not Volume, Drives Information Overload
Consider a typical day for an average employee. They often grapple with interruptions that disrupt periods of concentration and productivity. Valuable time is squandered in the quest for crucial information scattered across various platforms.
Information volume, as it turns out, is only a partial driver of information overload. Rather, the real culprit is the information itself — and specifically the degree to which the accessing and interpreting of the information imposes extra “work” on its recipient. This is what we call information burden.

Information burden is defined as a set of information that is:

  • Duplicative: To receive multiple data about the same or similar topics at the same time.
  • Irrelevant: Communications received are unrelated to their day-to-day responsibilities.
  • Effort Intensive: Forced to do extra work to keep up with the amount of information received at their organization.
  • Inconsistent: The data or information are often inconsistent or internally conflicting due to the source from which it is generated.

Solving the Problem!

Identify your business-critical data
When you have mapped out your business-critical assets you can have an end-end overview that shows which data models or dashboards are business-critical, where they are used, and what their latest status is.
This can be really useful, in a number of different ways:

  • It enables better decision making, speed, and prioritization when issues arise
  • It gives your team permission to focus more of your energy on the highly-critical assets, and let some less important things slide

What data is business-critical
Data used for decision-making is important and if data is incorrect it may lead to wrong decisions and over time a loss of trust in data. But data-forward businesses have data that is truly business-critical. If this data is wrong or stale you have a hair-on-fire moment and there is an immediate business impact if you don’t fix it.
Mapping out these use cases requires you to have a deep understanding of how your company works, what’s most important to your stakeholders and what potential implications of issues are.

If you identify and map out your business-critical data assets you can act faster on issues that are important and be intentional about where you build high quality data assets.
To identify dashboards that are business critical.
Define criticality, of the data required.
Be explicit about how you act on issues within business-critical assets and put in procedures for building quality by design.
Identifying the Critical data is just the tip of the berg, to create the process and the people to generate the data is herculean. 

In our experience many organizations have lost in mid-way due to the lack of understanding by the whole team, lack of the correct software and the list goes on.

The establishment of a critical data flow and dashboards is easier said than done. Having experienced experts who can aid in building these data systems and their flow proves invaluable. To bring about any change or setting up a critical data Management Information System (MIS) is a gradual process.
As they say, data is the new oil—ensure your company is fueled with the right one.