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Did You Know…..?

Intellect Technology is a fascinating subject which has still to mature. The term in this sense relates to a progression from Information Technology. If Information Technology is “the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications” then Intellect Technology is the use of that information to create knowledge and then to use that knowledge effectively and automatically.

Essentially, it means not only having the right information available but ensuring that it is available or presented in such a way that it can be effectively interpreted and used. It is the seamless automation of the process; from original data collection and storage, through to the interpretation of that data to create knowledge, to the use of that knowledge in the most effective and appropriate way possible.

Corporate knowledge bases are often talked about but are rarely effectively implemented or utilized. Organizations are often multi-faceted but equally fragmented so sales doesn’t talk to quality control who don’t talk to operations who don’t talk to supply chain. Vast amounts of data is collected and stored but never in the same place or categorized in a way that makes it useful.

So, the challenge for businesses therefore becomes one of how best to capture and deal with the data available in order to exploit the resultant opportunities successfully.

Equally, as individuals it is incumbent on us to become experts at discerning what information is valuable and what is noise. As a leader you need to separate the wheat from the chaff and be brutal in your discipline about getting the right data. Too much data availability slows down the decision making processes too – we fail to see the wood for the trees.

In addition, how does your business cope with the vast amounts of unfiltered data available? How are you going to leverage all the data to give yourself a strategic competitive advantage?

The key is knowing what questions you need the answer to. Don’t start with what data is available – decide what questions you need to answer and get the data which provides that answer. If it comes from multiple sources, ensure that the sources are talking to each other and that there is a data aggregator (human or machine) that is tasked with grabbing, cataloguing and making the data available for the organization at large.

Take a look at the data you receive on a day to day basis and determine what you truly need in order to be effective. Remove the comfort blankets and those reports that “you always get”. Also ensure that the company as a whole is treating data with the respect it deserves – is it useable, is it accurate, is it timely, does it help? With the amount of data available to the modern leader it is time to decide on which data is really relevant and treat the data seriously to gain foresight, insight and oversight.

How does the old adage go “It’s not what you know, but who you know, that counts”? Well, perhaps another one should be “It’s not what you know, but knowing where to go and how to get what you don’t know, that counts”……..

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