In order to increase efficiency in business, we need to understand the nature of the data that we are processing, storing and using on a daily basis. When we are faced with the challenge of improving our performance, the first thing that comes to mind is the information that we need to process. But it is not just about processing information, we need to be able to store it as well. Most companies think of data as being isolated objects in a file cabinet or in an external database. This is one way of looking at things, but in reality, information is much more complex than that.
In a nutshell, information is processed, structured and organised data that conveys a meaning. It gives context to individual data and allows effective decision making. For instance, a particular customer’s sale in a particular restaurant is statistical data or situational information this becomes information once the company is able to associate the most common or least common dish with the individual customer. However, there are many problems with relying completely on statistics alone, such as in the case of health and safety legislation. There are rules and regulations that state that companies must collect and provide accurate and up-to-date information on health and safety compliance.
As part of information technology, it is useful to have continuous data visualization that takes all the complication out of the management of large quantities of data and allows you to present it in an understandable fashion to any audience. Visualization is also a subset of Information Lifecycle Management (ISM), which seeks to extend the life cycle of information technology by building systems that enable continuous data capture, transformation, analysis and sharing across the enterprise. By leveraging visual techniques for analysis, users can see the big picture, and managers can make informed decisions based on the data that they have collected.