Information is like money
By Llewellyn le Hané
Green Enterprise Solution
In the modern world, the pursuit of money has to many become an obsessive activity. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it’s done with a certain goal in mind. This train of thought and discussion I recently had, got me thinking.
We are consumed by acquiring things, stuff, and as much money as we can. This is not just a Namibian obsession, all around the world it seems people are in pursuit of exactly the same goal. Having money to buy nice things, a nice house, a nice car, nice holidays and other essentials and luxuries is great. But, when you start to examine the unrelenting pursuit of money, my understanding becomes less clear. Having an emergency fund is great, saving for retirement, children and even grandchildren is the way it should be. Having piles of money for the sake of just having it, makes no sense. The same can be said about information.
Companies, government and institutions have a great many methods of collecting data, information about people, things, interactions and trends. They harvest this data, so much of it these days that it’s become known as Big Data. Everything is measured and tracked, and this has been widely reported on. Having information, data, business intelligence or whatever you want to call it gives you an edge. Some say it gives you ‘the edge’, giving you enough power to leverage during election times and change the mindset of whole swathes of a population. But, information and data is only an asset if you use it. Just like with money. Having it, just for the sake of having it, makes no sense. Companies, government harvest data and have petabytes of data laying around, but don’t use it. If you have money which you don’t know what to do with, you engage with a financial advisor and they tell you how you can put your money to work, to good use and perhaps benefit others or use it to create something new.
This is why organisations should harness the power of their data and apply and use it for their benefit and in the long-run for their stakeholders as well. Just imagine using the data to be able to do; Faster reporting, analysis or planning, make better predictions and business decisions, improve workflow, cut costs, tailor make customer interactions or improve your competitive advantage. These are just a few things that you can do with leveraging all the information and data that is swirling around an organisation.
Use your information intelligently and use it to improve your business, your organisation or government services. If you are unsure of how to go about it, just as you would get a financial advisor in, get a data consultant in. Much as I would implore people to do the same with money. Do not just let it sit there and watch the pile grow. Do something with it, otherwise it’s no use to anyone.