There is a case to be made that there’s now too much information. There are no one-size-fits-all answers anymore as the internet is flooded with people’s different opinions and views. You could type in the most random question in to the search bar and be met with hundreds to thousands of different websites and pages. Getting information off the internet is like taking a drink from a burst fire hydrant, you get a bit more than you wanted.
A lot of people are quick to make the point that “more information gives you more power”. I’d be very quick to disagree with that. Being swamped with information without having the time or knowledge to sort out the useful from the useless, can be as good as having no information at all. There is a point when you need to stop gathering information and take action on the information you already have. Stewart Brand once wrote “Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine – too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away.” The number of “bits”in the digital universe is already greater than the number of stars in the known universe.
The challenge for leading decision makers in all markets is the filtering of information. Information filtering systems can now be developed to filter the data source and deliver relevant, personalised information to the user. For instance, a marketing team could develop a filtering system using demographic information such as age, gender and education to identify the types of users that like a certain item. Economic filtering systems select items based on the costs and benefits of producing and viewing them. An example of economic filtering are systems that adaptively schedule banner advertisements on the internet. Ad systems that learn to display ads that will yield the highest possible click-through rate based on the past behaviour of the user. By directing ads to a more targeted population it could help internet providers and advertising agents increase their ad revenues.
The mass of info is growing and will continue to grow with improvements in technology, so it is crucial that the business world adapt to be able to extract the most concise, accurate and relevant information available.