This post will focus on the topic, information, and the value of that information for an organisation, its management and also its staff members. In order to understand and to be able to put a value on information and how it benefits organisations it is first necessary to provide a definition of what information actually is. Information is “knowledge derived from data” (Curtis& Cobham, 2001, p.37-39).
Information in essence is what is acquired after processing raw facts so that they can be interpreted by individuals. It is worth noting at this point that not all information is of the same standard, some information can be better than other information. In order to assess the value of information for an organisation we must first understand what characterises good information. According to Curtis & Cobham the characteristics of good information are as follows:
- Just Sufficient
- Worth its cost
This post will focus on the first characteristic above, that of accuracy, and to provide examples of how such accurate information can be used to the benefit of organisations. Management should have access to information that is correct and they should be able to rely on this information. Accurate information can be used by both management and staff with certainty as they are aware of its quality and/or it came from a reputable source, having access to such information lowers the amount of uncertainty surrounding the making of a decision. Through the provision of accurate information managers no longer need to rely on best guesses and forecasts, however a difficulty arises in this case as managers must be able to access “the right information at the right time to make an informed decision” (Laudon & Laudon, 2011, p. 46). Therefore good information is timely, please see the second characteristic above, this will be examined in my next blog post.
Flowchart of the Information gathering process
References:Curtis & Cobham, 2001. Business Information Systems; Analysis, Design and Practice: Fourth Edition.
Laudon & Laudon, 2011, Management Information Systems, Managing the Digital Firm: Twelfth Edition.
Information sign image courtesy of https://eternalsunshineoftheismind.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/information_sign5b15d.png?w=300