So much of what has been written about information overload in the past 10 years deals primarily with the amount of information bombarding us every day. While bloated email inboxes are a challenge, a bigger issue that gets missed in the coverage of individual struggles with information overload is the management logjam caused by the huge amount of data being received and generated by your own business. To put it simply, your organization’s decision-making capabilities could be hurt by too much information.

For example, your ERP probably has thousands of data points to help you keep track of machine hours, raw material inventories, job statuses, warehouse inventory and hundreds of other measures that are important to your business. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of this information can hinder timely and accurate data entry and analysis, leading to missed opportunities to improve operational efficiency or, worse, missing critical deadlines.

Information needs to be processed to provide value, and a survey of current research indicates that many business leaders fail to provide enough resources or time for information vetting and processing. It could be a matter of priorities or feeling too overwhelmed to tackle the issue, but better management of information is a major opportunity to improve business results.

It might be helpful to think of your business data as a pool of water that needs to be filtered and processed before it is safe to drink. Taken this way, you have only two projects, filtering your information and processing the information to help in decision making.

Filtering business information does not have to be complicated. Simply reviewing the data generated and received by your business and deciding how each type of should be categorized and stored is a good place to start. Having the information identified properly allows for the filtering of it by different users of the data and also cuts down on the feeling of being buried by the data.

Each business will process its information in a different way, but a review of the reports being generated is a good way to improve your control of the flow of information in your organization. A report review should start with a determination of the business decision the report pertains to, and then go on to decide how often the report needs to be updated and who should receive the report (or have access to it).

Even if you have progressed to delivering real-time data to key employees, a review of available data and the processing of it for real-time delivery is critical to maintaining a sense of control and trust in your business decision making.

If you would like help assessing your businesses’ information filtering and processing contact Triple Helix. We specialize in helping companies more effectively organize, access, and analyze the data they generate and collect.