This post has been inspired by Richard Weisser: Have we all become addicted to data? In his post he brings the good idea that we are in over our heads with Data Overload--maybe even addicted to it! I feel his pain; I have felt it for a long time now--and then I read a book, "BLINK" and that really made me stop to think.
Data and statistics are a seemingly endless supply of information regarding a business or about life in general. It is created by almost any person who has the ability to come to conclusions, give opinions and draw graphs that will support their premise. As much as we like to think that the person creating the data is a person driven by the need to reveal a truth or fact that will support an idea about something such as a profession, we can not tolerate too much! We know that there are mountains of data and statistics that will pile up until no one will ever be able to read it all unless they are paid a great deal of money to do just that....and then we get more data!
So, as a very big participant in the information overload, I want to tell you how I view information overload and why I see it as a "necessary evil".
When Malcolm Gladwell published his refreshing book "Blink, The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking", I got the message loud and clear and it reminded me that all of my decisions in business AND life have been brought into being in a flash or "in the blink of an eye"!
The premise of the book is that we make our best decisions from the "gut" level and that means that things/ideas may not appear to make a difference but they do in a very substantive ways. Below the surface of a thought is the fire that created it, the fire that drove it into the light of day! If we make more of an idea or data for that matter, then that is where we get stuck in the muck and mire. Over-thinking and over-analyzing data and situations can be crippling to our growth. The way data is used most often , in my opinion is as a frame work for your business instincts to be re-enforced and nothing more. As quickly as you read the data, you move on. Data becomes a spring board for further information but it is not the be-all, end-all. It is merely the support system for your thinking and planning and nothing more.
I look at information or data, as the necessary part of any good and thriving business. I see it as the bottomless well, where everyone can gather and share at will, the information that makes the business world revolve. Some good ideas have been created and passed on to the next generation this way--and that is good!
However, most of the data overload is just dumped and then left where it was flung! No one ever gets back to it again and it dies a slow, shrinking death and then it is gone forever! This is the way of all data...it dies away making room for more of the same and perchance even a total resurrection of the old; brought to the surface again in a fresh way that makes it look like a whole new approach!
Data Overload is a fact of life right now and I acknowledge that. I am part of this overload because I believe in informing the public at every turn and making sure they don't have a lot of unanswered questions regarding buying a home!