Mining The Meaning From Data
Our modern corporations are huge consumers and warehouses of data, actually so are our small business, and our households. Never, in the history of mankind, has there been so much information and data about – well – just about everything.
This volume of information in itself is a problem, as now we are required to be more astute consumers of the information.
We are aware of the value of “information” but we are numb to what is good information and what is noise, what is sound information and what is unsound, what is biased, what is timely and what is dated.
This all goes to the 7 points of what matters
• Is this information relevant?
Relevance of information is now very time sensitive. Our ability to perceive and than recognize relevance has an impact on the bottom line. The relationship between information and revenue may or may not be direct one, but the costs of a missed opportunity or an unanticipated threat can be huge.
Q: What is the hallmark of a professional that recognizes relent information in a timely fashion?
• What am I missing 1/3 – 2/3 rule
With the prevalence of social media, and blogs and desktop publishing – publication and editorial power has shifted to the individual. The information is available the moment it is produced. Yet the Internet has no editor, or fact checker – thus while the information may not be fact checked – it is also free from an editors’ biases. (I call to mind a story about a company a local paper would not run because the CEO of the company who be the focus of the negative story sat on the paper’s board of directors and the company bought a lot of add space from the paper.) The shift from edited and filtered information is a positive shift. The search engine weightings, rankings and page numbers all have to do with popularity – not usefulness. The more popular the information the easier to find, the more narrow the topic the harder the information is to find. It will be difficult for the consumer of vary narrow informational bits to find all of the bits they may wish to see and weigh.
Q: How do we find that which lurks below the surface?
• Type cast again?
The web uses algorithms to search for the content you may wish to see based upon past browsing history. The retailers use them, the blogs use them, the search engines use them, but that is not who we are. Our tastes are not based upon our past history as much as the whim of our polymath minds or our ever-changing roles in life and work. Once in one of these loops it can be hard to break out of them and these informational feed back loops can be very limiting when looking for new information on new topics.
Q: How do we escape these biased anchored histories in life and commerce?
• Keepers of the knowledge, professional oracles.
Experts are a good way to obtain relevant information with less effort. Specific knowledge on locations, technology, laws and regulations are often a must to make well-informed choices. The experts can also become gatekeepers to access of information, and biased filters of information. Experts that are not delivering information that is relevant to the consumer of the information are more dangerous than no information.
Q: If the experts are giving the same advise to every client, how can I use that expert’s advice to have the competitive edge?
• I trust my community, don’t I?
We trust those we like and those we interact with. We get our information from ever growing online communities and social media networks. A great deal of this information is very relevant and often you can see real-time dilemmas playing out in an industry if your level of awareness is attenuated to both what and how things are being said. This can produce tremendous insights in to the impact current events will have on a future market place for ideas and or goods and services.
Q: How do I know the community is not being manipulated?
• Ah ha! That’s what I was looking for?
You look and look and look for information to help you understand the world around you. You read and digest information from so many sources. How do you keep up with life, work and family with the heavy burden of always and all the time searching for information. Yet the content provided distracts you with internal links and mazes of distractions making it take you much longer to get the information you want. It is good for their pages rankings but a time waster for you. You get overload with noise – but you wait for that ah-ha moment that makes it all worthwhile. Yep overloaded, over overwhelmed, and underwater all at the same time.
Q: What is the different between what I need to know and what I would like to know?
• How do we become aware of new information?
We must keep our eyes and ears open; we must poll others for opinions and ideas – yet we also must clear our minds. Try to practice choiceless awareness. Choiceless awareness is where an individual perceives a given situation or bit of information in an unbiased manner. That means without distortion, without signal noise that colors or distracts. Therefore they will, with complete awareness, act according to this awareness. The choices made will be the manifestation and result of this awareness, rather than the result of biased or managed choice.
Q: How do I process these changes of awareness and provide a referent for context and location?
Due Diligence is about information, about doing your homework, and amassing knowledge that is both accessible and usable for choice making. Information is stored in different locations, with filters, bundles, edited, un-edited, sorted, unsorted, or colored to fit one consumer’s needs making it useless for others, etc….
There are many laws now on the books for distracted driving because the results of distractive driving are so severe and sometime deadly. It is not different for us, as we are finding it extremely difficult not to be distracted by information that is not relevant to our information needs, yet we must stay aware of new developments in a timely fashion as the world now just seems to happen faster.
The state of the information barrage is not going to change – what needs to happen for all of those in the information and choice making professions is to ask and answer the 7 questions posed, for themselves.