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The Need for Information

When trying to make decisions, small businesses often deal with lack of data due to indiscipline, disorganization, and high expectations from management. It is my opinion that information is the biggest asset on a company, therefore, should be designed and curated procuring complex future information structures.

First, information could be inexistent due to lack of discipline. For example, employees at some point decide that too much effort is used in completing forms all the time, with every case or customer. It is understandable that a form with 30 data records will decrease its completion rate over time. What could possibly happen in the future when all those missing data fields are required to complete a report, not needed until then?

Second, although information can be collected, if it is not accompanied of an organization system, it is just a group of data. As an example, when Excel is used as the replacement of an information system, every user will record what they consider relevant. Therefore, quality of information is reduced due to fragmentation. Consider the effect of this phenomena during the creation of a report when the moment comes to make important decisions.

Third, high expectations from management are not always aligned with the reality of the information produced, and the data collected. To illustrate this point, managers can pretend to obtain magical answers from internal systems, without even invest on a basic, well constructed mechanism. Furthermore, this is a distorted perspective impossible to fulfill based on the existing data. Would it had been necessary to get more input from management when the systems were developed? Despite the need of answer current questions; future interrogations will arise, consequently, they should be forecasted somehow.

In summary, small businesses suffer from lack of discipline and organization when it comes to information creation. Also, illusory requests from management (considering how little they invest on data collection) deviates the path from what information should be created. In my opinion, this unvaluable property should be considered under the light of the current and future needs of the decision making process. This being said, management is the only responsible of the construction of the information structure, thus, its final output.

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