Stay Afloat in a Sea of Data

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 1, 2010

Every business (and every employee, for that matter), is trying to stay afloat in a sea of information right now. Think about how many times you send an e-mail, save a file onto a server, add a new record to your customer database, or create an altogether-new document during the course of your work day. As time goes on, this type of information grows exponentially, and it becomes difficult for companies to get real value out of it. There is a way to be more intelligent about the way we store, access, and use information. I try to follow one simple rule: Don’t be afraid of data.

All too often we tend to be overwhelmed by the deluge of data we’re experiencing, but we shouldn’t be. There’s plenty of usable information within companies that’s currently going unused, and this can easily change if employees are equipped with the right tools to cope with it all.

For example, something as simple as coming up with file-naming conventions (tagging every document you save with a date, project name, and version number) can help save time when searching through files on a company server. Or the IT department can set up systems to analyze trends in data and even predict future events in your business. One example of this is tracking patterns in your sales-lead database to determine what prospects to call and when. The analytic capabilities of technologies are growing much faster than the information we’re collecting.

At any rate, don’t panic. We aren’t creating an unsolvable problem by adding new knowledge and information to our companies on a daily basis. We’re making them more productive and intelligent for the long haul.

Rado Kotorov
Chief Innovation Officer
Information Builders
New York

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