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Drive Business Forward Managing Information Overload

Expert.ai Team - 12 June 2018

Share the article, like my post, download the brochure, watch a video, try the demo.  Today, we are more connected with others, through tweets, texts, emails, social networks and other channels. We have created, and are still creating, more information in the last 20 years than in all of human history before now.

As the technology and its connectivity accelerates, its making more information available than the brain can handle. This has caused what we all know as “information overload.”

Information overload: the definition

The term “information overload” was introduced by Bertram Gross, a professor of Political Science at Hunter College, in 1964. Gross defined information overload as follows:

“Information overload occurs when the amount of input to a system exceeds its processing capacity. Decision makers have fairly limited cognitive processing capacity. Consequently, when information overload occurs, it is likely that a reduction in decision quality will occur.”

At work, we spend a large part of time each day just finding information hidden somewhere in emails, files, chat conversations and other sources. This is time that could have been spent working on something more productive. Managing information in daily life is no longer restricted to business but is an issue that faces nearly everyone. 

Some causes of information overload

What is causing our current information overload?

  • Big Data: Today, huge volumes of new information are being constantly created by every user. More data is generated and made available thanks to increasing numbers of customer-facing channels and of operational data collected from connected devices. This is causing a huge volume of data, big data, that is hard to filter and categorize.
  • More communication channels: The increasing number of channels for receiving information, such social media, websites, email, text messages, RSS feeds, etc. are creating a lot of noise, making hard to determine what is relevant, what to take into consideration to improve services or just to be responded to immediately.
  • More information than we can process: The simplicity of creating, duplicating and sharing of information online is making work especially difficult for most knowledge workers. More customer requests,feedback, information about decisions andpolicies are increasing workloads for businesses
  • Speed of Information:Each day, 5 quintillion bytes of data is created in the world. Enough said.

Some solutions to information overload

Information overload is a huge problem for organizations that need to drive the business forward. The volume and complexity of information and its tendency to get lost if not managed can negatively impact efficiency and productivity.  Organizations that implement specific strategies to manage all their information have a competitive advantage.

  1. The right knowledge management information system can radically change the way information is discovered, managed and shared to improve productivity and efficiency. An efficient knowledge management system helps companies address the opportunity offered by unstructured information to boost most strategic activities and guarantee the delivery of the right information at the right time.
  2. An Intelligent virtual assistant has the capacity to manage an overwhelming amount of information and can pull from it to reply with the right information based on the query. The automation of these types of activities can allow workers to focus on other non-repetitive and valuable tasks.
  3. Artificial Intelligence can provide a valuable solution for information overload. Using all the information available, AI systems can collect, handle and summarize data using context and disambiguation to reduce information overload by offering only information that is important and relevant for the task.

All businesses need better way to capture and analyze information for better decision making. Using this data efficiently have real advantages:

  • Increased efficiency in business processes, making better decisions and reducing costs at the same time;
  • The ability to understand and target customers more precisely;
  • Combined, this can make companies much more competitive.