Distinguish between data and information
The majority of people believe that the terms data and information can be used and applied interchangeably and ultimately mean the same thing. However, there is a notable difference that exists between these two words. Fundamentally, data refers to the raw material that is to be processed for the information or collection of details (Baglieri, 2014). In other words, these are unorganized materials that are yet to be processed for further information. Therefore, data may consist of any characters, texts, words, numbers, sound, pictures or video not put in the context that is required to convey a proper meaning. It is important to recognize that computers usually read data. However, this is not necessarily something that these machines understand. Through the utilization of various scripts, formulas and programming languages, it is possible for the computers to transform data into information that human being can easily understand (Cook, 2008). On the other hand, information refers to the data that has been processed into a useful form that human can read and understand. On a wider note, information is a component of the data and the meaning derived from the collected data. Therefore, it means that data does not rely on information, but information depends upon the gathered and processed data. It is important to recognize that information is often something being conveyed and hence crucial when data is collected and its meaning generated. Examples of information include the census report, survey reports, and results, and the merit list among others.
Major differences that exist between the data and information are that data the input language for the computers while the information is the output language for a human. Conceivably, data is unprocessed data while the information is the processed data to convey a given meaning and results.
Uses of business information
Business information forms a natural part of the firm. Fundamentally, businesses want information about their customers, because such information has value. On a wider note, the company will use this information to learn about what the customers need and expect. In this way, they utilize this information to provide their products to customers efficiently.
Secondly, the business often uses a tremendous amount of efforts to learn about the desires of their clients. It is based on the fact that majority of the companies are subjected to the situation of intense competition of retaining their customers. Therefore, an opportunity to keep its customers is likely to thrust it up towards gaining some competitive advantages compared to its rivals.
Finally, information is important in businesses because it stimulates and promotes problem-solving approaches and thinking. It means that when businesses have appropriate information, they can make proper decisions regarding their objectives.
B). Describe five qualities of good Information
Information is a crucial component in business. Five qualities of good information include accuracy, completeness, consistency, uniqueness, and timelessness.
i. Accuracy refers to the quality that entails having n information that is accessed and deemed reliable (Cook, 2008). The accuracy and reliability of the information can be achieved through having a proper database design that will help make the development of new businesses ideas in addition to promoting its goals.
ii. Completeness as a quality of good information requires that information provides a whole picture of the meaning or issue being addressed. Partial information is only a part of the broader picture and therefore may not be helpful to give the information required.
iii. Consistency is a crucial key that should be considered when entering information into the database. Disorganized information on a particular issue may not efficiently provide the required assistance in a given context.
iv. About uniqueness, businesses must ensure that the information that they have are unique and distinctive (Cook, 2008). When this kind of information is appropriately utilized, the company may achieve greater competitive advantages more than its competitors.
v. Timelessness-good information is the one which is not out-dated. It means that new and current information is significantly valuable to companies. Organizations must, therefore, learn how to get current information about the technological advancement, which is an important element for gaining competitive advantages and success
Task 2: Knowledge and Understanding
A) Describe two internal sources of information normally used by companies such as Active Sports Drinks Ltd.
The sources of business information can be primary information or the information that the business owner obtains from within the company. In the case where the information is obtained from inside the firm, it is known as internal information. Different types of internal sources of information exist and include computer systems (human resource, accounting, and inventory), staff records, annual reports, company reports, and the business documents among others.
On a wider note, the accounting as an internal source of business information provides the company with financial intelligence in the enterprise (Baglieri, 2014). Mostly, this refers to the information that is related to the performance and profit and the loss as experienced by the business. Notably, it will integrate the manner in which the business pays taxes, staffs, and the costs of rates and fees that the firm pays. Companies, therefore, need the financial controllers or accountants so as to monitor their financial information for decision-making.
Regarding the computer systems, it is worth noting that these sources of information form a natural part of any company. They can provide personnel, marketing and purchasing information. With a particular focus on marketing, marketing information is utilized by the market teams to identify the products and services offered by the business. The marketing team can gather information from different departments such as the sales so as to facilitate the decision making about the promotion of particular products or services.
B). Describe three external sources of information normally used by companies such as Active Sports Drinks Ltd.
For the companies like Active Sports Drinks Ltd., the external sources of business information come from a variety of forms that include the printed media, reports and the online distribution. With a particular focus on print information, this category integrates a wide array of books, periodicals, newsletters, and subcategories. Ideally, these sources offer valuable reference information on the human resources management, product development, establishing home-based businesses, and the initial financing among others.
Other than the print information, the Television and Radio media forms relevant sources that help business in various aspects of decision-making. Fundamentally, the TVs and Radio often have some programs devoted to general investment approaches, sources of business ideas, the opportunities for expansion and marketing.
Finally, online information source assists business such as Active Sports Drinks Ltd. with valuable information regarding investment techniques, the appropriate channels of distribution and perhaps the marketing strategies that should be employed. Human resource management and financial information can also be obtained from these online sources, thereby facilitating decision making.
TASK 3 - Knowledge & Understanding (5 Marks)
Distinguish and explain five differences between strategic, tactical and operational information.
The following table shows the difference between strategic, tactical and operational information:
|Definition||Used by the business to achieve the balance between requirements of different roles and organizational units||Required by the decision makers to check for the changes in the organizations current operating environment.||Needed by the organization to ensure that the everyday business operations are conducted out effectively and efficiently|
|Function||Helps in the determination of the long-term business objectives||Helps in providing the analysis of the present state of competition within a given market||Helps in managerial decision making to ensure that the employees are well-instructed|
|Types of decisions made||Does not require any higher level plans or objectives for the decision-making or management actions.||Requires higher level plans or objectives for the decision-making or management actions.||Requires higher level plans or objectives for the decision-making or management actions.|
|Duration of applicability||Used for both short and long-term decision making||Used for long-term decision making||Used for short term decision making|
|Nature||The information collected primarily with planning for the future direction and growth of the company, in accordance with its stated mission and goals||Level of information focuses more on the resources available for achieving strategic goals with quality results, such as people, time and money||Determined to ensure that the workers are given correct information to carry out their operations|
The appropriate business information allows the business to make informed decisions by presenting the data in ways that can be interpreted by the management (Bryce & Wilson, 2002). A business requires different types of information depending on the context in which it needs to make the informed decisions. Information regarding the customers would be significant to enable the company provides the various metrics that surround customer engagement. It helps the business determine better ways of involving the clients. In this way, business requires the strategic, tactical and operational information more than anything else in the firm so as to make an informed companys decisions.
Strategic information refers to the information used by the business to achieve the balance between requirements of different roles and organizational units (Bryce & Wilson, 2002). Fundamentally, it involves risks balance both in the long-term and short terms perspectives. About these considerations, it is important to recognize that the strategic management helps in the determination of the long-term business objectives that the company anticipates or intends to follow. A major unique feature of the strategic information the organization does not require any higher level plans or goals to provide any possible guidance for the decision-making or management actions.
Tactical information on the hand refers to the information needed by the decision makers to check for the changes in the organization's current operating environment, thus assisting the in discovering new opportunities (Givens, 2011). In this way, therefore, the tactical intelligence deals with the real time, providing the analysis of the present state of competition within a given market. Instead of engaging the planning process, the tactical information plays a crucial role in addressing the action steps that must be undertaken to accomplish the strategic aim of the company.
The operational information refers to the information needed by the organization to ensure that the everyday business operations are conducted out effectively and efficiently (Bryce & Wilson, 2002). For example, this information can be used in managerial decision-making so as to ensure that the employees at the top of the hierarchy are given appropriate instructions on the assignments to be performed at a given time.
TASK 4 -...
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