7 Drops of Information

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Photo courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk

Intelligence is the ability to take in information from the world and to find patterns in that information that allow you to organise your perceptions and understand the external world – Brian Greene

We live in the age of information so it’s high time I gave you the low down on this thing called information.

First of all, what is information? Albert Einstein said information is not knowledge! So what is it? Why do we need it? And how should we use it? I’ll briefly try to answer these questions in the simplest way I know.

From my understanding, information is intelligence. In order to plan, build, and progress in life and business, we need intelligence. Our relationship with information and how we use this intelligence is what I’m more concerned with. Luckily, I’ve been able to find patterns that have allowed me to organise my perceptions on the subject and I’ll share 7 of them with you here.

Access

In order to use any sort of information, it needs to be accessible. The type of information you are after will determine the processes that need to be taken in order to gain access to it. For example, the way a lawyer gains access to the information he or she needs for a case is very different to the way an anthropologist would obtain social intelligence.

Since we are talking about accessing and gathering information, research becomes and obvious part of this activity. Therefore, I feel that clarity of purpose and being SMART about our objectives when searching, would save a lot of time and effort, especially in today’s world of information overload.

Interpretation

After accessing the information we need, it is essential that we are able to understand it. Ever tried reading a letter written in a language you don’t understand? Okay, bringing it into the 21st century, have you ever tried to open a Word document on PowerPoint or vice versa? I’m sure you get the picture! Information must be delivered in a language that we can understand. Otherwise, it will be utterly useless.

Editing

Sometimes, you may find that some of the data you are working with may be insufficient, incomplete or require additional input as more information becomes available. For this reason, being able to edit and update information as and when required is highly important.

Collaboration

As further information may sometimes be required, some of this intelligence may need to be specialised. This will involve different specialists in different fields of expertise who are privy to different pieces of useful information. So bear in mind that collaboration is sometimes necessary in order to produce more robust works of intelligence.

Storage

After information has been accessed and understood, we may need to store certain pieces of intelligence for future reference. We all know that the new is birthed by the old. Therefore, stored information in today’s world could become vital to how new things are discovered tomorrow. The preservation of valuable information is very important indeed.

Distribution

Following the preceding steps, information usually needs to be distributed to the people who want or need to access it. Distribution channels therefore need to be taken into consideration. Making sure the right information is delivered to the right recipients is of huge importance as some information may be sensitive in nature and may become dangerous in the wrong hands. This brings me to my next and final point.

Protection

We’ve talked about what information is, why we need it and how to use it. It is worth noting that while information may not be knowledge, it is still very powerful. When we communicate or distribute intelligence in any form, we must take care to protect that information. In the digital world, I advocate the use of the 2-step authentication security feature provided by most digital platforms. In the real world, tact and prudence. In the end, knowing what kind of information is sensitive enough to require serious protection simply boils down to knowing what is for the public domain and what should remain private.

That’s It!

Now that I’ve shared my 7 drops of information with you, I’m sure that you realise that when all is said and done, all the intelligence in the world is completely useless if one does not use the information one finds. I hope you’ve found this useful. Now get out there, have fun with it, and be lucky!

By E. Nyoreme Nakpodia

7 Drops of Information © 2014 Nyoremes Books.

Creative Commons Licence

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