This data is provided for information only!

I'll order some data, hold the info please. 
I have been to some presentations lately and they present data with a disclaimer of sorts, saying "This data is provided for information only". It got me pondering what this actually means. After all, the only use of presenting data is to provide information. Data that provides no information is useless, and so why would anyone want to do that.

As in all things, context helps, and to help understand what "information only" means it is worth understanding where information sits within an  information value chain. If we look at how data and information provides value to our lives, then the normal value adding process is:
 So these presentations are not advising us to take action, only to take the information.

Information Management is a topic that is universally recognised as an area for improvement in most organisations. Many people know this, but where to start and what to do? That is the challenge. This value chain explains, in some part, why this is such a challenge.

As soon as we move beyond Information to Knowledge, Insights and Action, it becomes very personal. It is all tailored to an organisation's unique needs and then ultimately to each person's unique views, needs and perspectives.

Therefore delivering the information in the right way depends on the knowledge and insights being sought by each individual for them to take their own action.  It is no wonder that personalised apps are so popular.


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Mark Nicholls.
Managing Director, Information Professionals. 
Mark is one of Australia’s most trusted IT & Change Management advisors. He also has other entrepreneurial business interests that he operates through MaidenVoyages.

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