The path to information may not always lead through but often stops by the quality department at your local Sears store… (L-)

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Data/

In the system view of computing solutions data is an interesting piece. It is both the input and the output of many systems. We start with the known data and the system in applying business rules tot hat data produces new data (output).

Data is also an interesting problem. People access systems of record to get data that is known good. For many people without realizing it represents a knowledge management system. You access KM systems when you need an answer. If you want to go information fishing you go to Bing or Google. If the goal is get the problem solved fast you want known good data.

You have the concepts of data analytics (move the data or move the computing) that then apply to information that is gathered and mixed with data to produce new data that people can consume. Information vetting becomes important thought. Good data in and good data out produces a happy result. Bad data in requires a stronger analysis system to sort through the chaff.

In the book “The Syncverse” I talk about the value of information brokers and information merchants. Starting with known good data does in fact improve your end game if of course your end game is to solve a specific problem. The reality of data is that it isn’t always in a mode where the vetting helps. Information that is incomplete or complete but not optimally usable results in less reliance on vetting.

The goal of the book The Syncverse was to create a system whereby information was available from a variety of sources in a variety of formats. The brokers and merchants selling information with analysis already provided. It’s a market that has existed for well thousands of years. The first person that sat down created an alphabet and documented what happened around them was in fact a broker or merchant. A broker is a person that vets information and a merchant is a person who sells information. They often work together as the merchant provides a steady market for the broker.

That vetting process for information gave you the knowledge that it was known good. A company would connect with its employees via a Syncverse connection called the Myverse. The concept of the Myverse goes well beyond simply a connection point for companies and their employees or government and their workers or members of a group. Merchants and brokers could directly interact with you as well.

Your company being in the manufacturing sector may believe heavily in information broker A. As such they provide you with information merchant B’s flow of broker A’s data. Simple. You however actually prefer the information generated by Information Broker D, as it is more relevant to the people you work with. You can have both feeds in your Myverse. The value is they would be synced to your device.

You see in the end it doesn’t matter what kind of data we are talking about. Big data, small data, data that has been analyzed, data from a merchant, data from a broker. In the end the real value of information is that it moves what you are doing forward. Solving a problem or simply making sure a problem never happens.

My analogy for all of this based on writing the book and later playing at the edges of the data explosion is this. The thing that matters is the device you are using when you need the data. My analogy for that is simply:

If you are using a map on your phone connected with the GPS chip in your device and that map only shows where you’ve been it really isn’t helping you. If that map only shows where you are going it doesn’t help you right now (where you are standing). It is in mixing where you are, where you are going and where you have been that the data (GPS) is relevant. It is often simply solving a problem.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Sears had a information quality department?

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.