Too much information: Living with Data Explosion fallout
Reports suggest we are busier than ever, bombarded with data we can’t process. To cut through the noise, a little insight is needed, says Derek Britton.
“Constant connectivity is a great example of being careful about what we wish for.” Discuss.
Working arrangements around the pandemic have now forever blurred the line between home and office, and if the front door was ever the immovable object resisting the immovable force of work, that struggle is over.
We are connected, and contactable, all the time. Even when not formally “working” we may “quickly check” email. You may even be reading this from the sofa, smartphone in one hand, TV remote in the other. Perhaps a third technology platform is battling for your attention; as my fitness tracker is currently doing, in a forlorn attempt to prod me to do some exercise.
With the absence of any form of commute effectively “bracketing” the working day, our job has morphed into a thing we do, all the time, not a place we go from 9 to 5 - another thread to be weaved into the fabric of our daily lives, like school runs and app-mandated exercise.
Having access to all this information should make our working lives easier. A data-driven working day must be more efficient, less time-consuming, mustn’t it? Not necessarily. It all depends on whether you value quality over quantity.
For example, a Burton Group study, reported in CIO.com - found that 42% of IT managers receive too much information, and 39% can't figure out what is accurate. To quote marketing pioneer John Wanamaker, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”
In the absence of proper meetings, watercooler chats and impromptu face-to-face discussions, many of us fire off emails to colleagues instead, safe in the knowledge the day’s need-to-know, pearl of customer insight, business-critical data point or whatever will be safely received. Not so fast. Forbes.com report that employees deal with roughly 115 emails per day, yet they miss one-third of the information exchanged through emails.
But surely, with more time to read this stuff, separating the gold nuggets from the fool’s variant should be easier? The reverse may well be true. Because getting information isn’t the issue. Managing it is another matter. This report tells us all what many of you already know.
- 82 percent of employees say poor information management compromises productivity.
- 88% said a reliable search tool from a single place would be beneficial no matter where the data is stored.
- 82% reported they would like an automated system for naming and tagging a document
This chimes with a similar finding by the SD Times, who reported that 44 percent of respondents feel key data isn’t usable for decision making, and a further 41% cited a lack of data strategy, to include policies, processes, and standardized technology, within their organization as their top data-related challenge.
In short, too many of us are panning for gold, sifting piles of extraneous material for the stuff we need to succeed. Unreliable reports plus inadequate information will never equal viable insight. Little wonder the SD Times report mentioned that 68% said they didn’t have the time needed to derive value from data. In short, they don’t trust it, but have no time to fix it. So, what will?
Taming the Beast: Data Management 101
An enterprise-scale data collection, storage and retrieval system must run in parallel with an information management strategy. This approach will then fold in certain mandatory operational facilities, including (as reported above) a universal search capability and efficient, automatic categorization.
In turn, the strategy needs the right solution set to deliver it. Tools that that control data, and deliver operational efficiency by finding smart ways to collect, store, secure, control, archive and analyse business critical data, so employees can derive insight from that data from wherever they happen to be, and claw back their home life from the perpetual pursuit of a more successful working day.
Over 1,000 customers joined Micro Focus – leaders in Information Management and Governance solutions – at the recent Micro Focus Universe 2021 to learn about our ongoing commitment and innovation in this space, to put the user and the data at the heart of the solution. We heard about product plans, customer testimonials, and industry expert analysis, discussing a smarter way to manage information.
Data and People are hugely valuable resources for the organization. Treat them well. For more information on the Micro Focus mantra, “Insight Empowered”, download the ebook.
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The Micro Focus IM&G team
Know your data | empower your people | drive your future