Information is Power, Here's How To Understand It for Your Business


Information is becoming more and more valuable - and its value is being recognised more and more. In many cases, "soft" assets like information are more valuable than all the "hard" assets of a business and more critical to the growth of the business. Information is power, here's how to understand it for your business:

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How well is your information system geared towards measuring soft capital? Capturing your intellectual capital? And how well does your business use technology to support its information systems?

Technology underpinning information 

List the technology your business uses:

  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Internet
  • Intranet
  • Filing systems
  • Accounting systems

To what extent are these all integrated? If they are not, how can you start to integrate them? Can you build a simple dashboard even on a shared spreadsheet to collect key data points that help you understand your business?

Recommended reading: How to Tap Into Future Trends For Your Business

External Information Sources

Keeping informed on what is happening outside your business is difficult and you can be snowed under with too much information very quickly. Instead, analyse which sources you should use on a regular basis and keep things simple.

Possible sources of information:

  • Which trade magazines are you subscribed to?
  • How are you kept informed of international developments?
  • What are the addresses of useful websites? (Business Achievers!)
  • What are the trade organisations that you should join?
  • Who are the people in your network who can keep you aware of developments?
  • How do staff use the system and when?
  • How is information presented for use?

Next, consider your "bandwidth". How wide is the "bandwidth" of your external information system? Does it cover:

  • Technology?
  • People?

What about your economic sectors?

  • Agriculture
  • Banking
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Government
  • Hospitality
  • IT
  • Utilities
  • Media
  • Medicine/Health
  • Military
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications
  • Trade
  • Transportation

Internal information

Information on what is happening within your business is just as important as knowing what is happening outside. In each of the relevant areas, especially those that are important to your business' growth potential, you should have metrics - quantifiable information that measures performance. Use this to explore your internal information systems.

What type of information do you need across the following functions:




Who is responsible?






Inventory levels


Re-order levels


Delivery speed


Response time


Logistical costs per unit


Vendor rating




Feedback from suppliers








Material usage


Use of equipment




Use of capacity


Quality control problems


% Defaults






Number of customers


Number of repeat orders


Sales expense in % of sales


Journey planning


Order size


Sales funnel


Call volume


Price per lead


Price per converted lead


Sales per distributor


Average call time per customer


% success rate


Discounts given


Response time


New contacts












Feedback from customers


Stake holders








Number of improvements


Number of new ideas


Customer feedback


Supplier feedback




Technological developments


New product introductions


Putting in place integrated information and key metrics will allow you to turn that information into powerful actionable insights to help you run your business better.

How have you gone about using information in your business? Tell us in the comments below.

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