by Dr. Craig Fleisher, Dean, School of Business and Public Affairs, College of Coastal Georgia, USA
The future for business planners, knowledge managers, and special librarians will require enhanced sense-making ability. In the past, finding and organizing information was the key to competitive success. Those organizations who found it first had advantages that they could often leverage in the marketplace. Today, most individuals and organizations have excellent access to data and information; in reality, my research has shown that most organizations have too much of both, and too little of an idea for what to do with it.
Making things worse, much of the collected data and information resides in storage (i.e., data warehouses, networks, spreadsheets, etc.) where it gets stale quickly and cannot serve any viable competitive use. Like milk, information spoils if it isn’t treated and utilized. The half-life of time for acting on competitive information continues to shrink in this day and age and isn’t likely to lengthen anytime soon.
Future ready means that analysts in companies will need to work on the front-end with their data acquisition and information management/knowledge professional colleagues, making sure that what is collected provides the missing pieces to the puzzles that analysts and planners know they need to put together to support decisions. The need to make decisions drives our analysis. Our analysis needs drives our data collection. The rule for future success: Don’t collect data or information for which we do not already have analytic mechanisms in place to use it within. Why buy and store milk if you are not going to drink it?
Dr. Craig Fleisher is a former President of the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals, author of several foundational books in CI and analysis, and was awarded its Meritorious recognition for lifetime contributions to the field.