Information Saturation the Curse of Business Intelligence

information_saturationWhile attending college one of my accounting professors asked a simple question pertaining to reporting.  How many financial and managerial reports need to be created before they no longer assist in decision making?  He then coined the term “information saturation”, the point where producing more information will not affect the decision made.

The curse of Business Intelligence software is you can slice and dice data hundreds of ways and produce massive amounts of information, but there comes a time where counter productivity starts to happen.  Unless one can act on the information provided it is unnecessary.  The challenge today is not producing mounds of information and analysis, but producing the optimum amount of information and analysis, to make quality informed decisions.

It is very easy to show employee value by producing reams of reports, graphs and trend line analysis however, that will not work anymore because professional counterparts in other countries can do the same job cheaper.  The focus needs to change from BI technology is the solution to knowing what information to create and how to interpret information, a skill that relies on experience, wisdom and critical thinking.

As stated by Jensen and Kletzer 74.7% of business and operational jobs can be tradeable.  Information saturation adds unnecessary costs to businesses and doesn’t add any value to the employee.  Producing information props will eventually initiate a tradeable service review by executive management.  Business Intelligence software is a tool that is dependent on a person asking the quality questions.  If management believes BI software is the solution then BI professionals will be treated like commodity labor, which can be performed cheaper in any emerging industrialized country.

That is why Talent Lost member are highly valuable employees.  The wealth of experience, wisdom and critical thinking abilities gives them the ability to ask the correct questions, and not produce unnecessary information, always showing a high ROI on services.