Improve quality of information

Business information

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Different types of information

There are two different types of main data that are around, there is qualitative and quantitative.

Primary - data that has been collected by yourself and first hand. This can be done in a number of different ways: surveys, interviewing, questionnaires and logging. This type of data should be able to be used and relied on due to actually getting it yourself, knowing where it has came from. You will know what has been done to that data when it has been processed and collected.

Secondary - data that has been collected by someone else, another source other than yourself. This could be done a number of ways, Internet, TV, articles, stories or blogs. This type of data can not be relied on as much as primary data can be. This being due to you don't know if the data that has been given is 100% accurate. Could have biased information and be only to one side of an argument.

Primary data is more expensive to actually get hold of, it can also be difficult to get hold of and use. But it has it's bonuses it's more expensive and difficult to find, but this data can most certainly be relied on. Secondary data is a large amount cheaper and not difficult to get hold of it's easy to get hold of. But it has its downside, this being that it can't be relied on 100%, could not be accurate.

Purposes of information

Operational support - When a company is checking and controlling its activities it will instantly make use of information that has been collected from the system. This will be used to make all the different decisions that are made within the company. This information will help to make the decisions every minute of the day within the company. An example would be when a company runs out of food for example or need a certain amount an alert could be sent which would tell them they need more of a set item or to get more in.

Analysis - This will be where the company will always do the same or slightly different processes with its data. This is used in order to be able to keep track of everything and check for patterns or trends, which then leads to the monitoring of the company and its processes. This could be used when a company wants to create a weekly or monthly sales and costs reports. Gives them a way to check if profits is either going up or going down, if sales are going up and making costs higher. Analysis can be helpful for a company in the future and to plan for the future. This being due to the fact they will be able to predict how much will be wanted in the future. Will give them a means of knowing how much stock to buy in, different materials to buy in. How many staff members will be needed in the future, ways to advertise and there costs.

Decision making - Information system can help to support decisions when a problem or issue comes up, and management will need to take action to fix it and get rid of the problem. The management will be able to make these decisions at different levels, these would include operational, tactical and strategic.

Gaining advantage - This is classed as the opposite to fixing a problem, this being that it is based on using external and internal events to there advantage. It will be done when different opportunities come up.

Sources of information

There are two types of sources of information that are available to an organisation, within a organisation every department within it will create and gather information. The information that they gather will be of some value to other departments within the organisation. This is a internal source as it is collected first hand by the organisation and its staff itself. There are also external sources of information that are available for a organisation to use and make use of. This can help with the decision making that the company makes.
However the fact that it is second hand and not been found by yourself it is not as reliable as having found the information yourself. Having the information being first hand and internal found makes it much more reliable and probably more fit to purpose. Having it externally found could mean it isn't fit to the purpose it is meant for and could actually be incorrect. Information being reliable and fit to purpose is key for an organisation in order for it to help them with what they need it to help them with.