Information and Decision making theory

what is information management and decision making and what is information system and decision making, what is the relationship between health information and decision making pdf free download
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Dr.FlynnHanks,United States,Teacher
Published Date:26-07-2017
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Contents List of activities vii List of figures viii List of tables ix Series preface ix Introduction: information is crucial xi 1 Information and decision making 1 From data to information to knowledge and learning 1 Information comes in many forms 7 Information as an aid to decision making 11 Using the Web as an information resource 23 Recap 30 More 31 2 Evaluating information 32 Information overload 32 Evaluating information 35 Good practice for reducing overload 41 Recap 44 More 45 3 Communicating information 46 Planning and structuring your document 47 Using the power of text in presentations 53 Recap 58 More 59 4 Information systems 60 Key issues in systems development 60 Intranets and extranets 65 Data security 69 Recap 74 More 75 5 Knowledge management 76 How do you manage knowledge? 76 Challenges and critical success factors 81 Knowledge management in practice 86 Recap 93 More 94 References 96Activities Activity 1 Identify the differences between data and 6 information Activity 2 Categorise information sources 10 Activity 3 Explore information for decision making 19 Activity 4 Plot information flows within your team 20 Activity 5 Specify an information system for management 22 support Activity 6 Use the Web for research 28 Activity 7 Assess the extent of your information overload 34 Activity 8 Evaluate your incoming information 38 Activity 9 Evaluating websites 40 Activity 10 Use e-mail more effectively 42 Activity 11 Evaluate written communications 51 Activity 12 Identify useful content for your intranet 68 Activity 13 Assess how well your organisation manages 73 data security Activity 14 Assess your organisation’s attitude to 85 knowledge management Activity 15 Explore good practice in knowledge management 92Figures 1.1 From data to information 2 1.2 From data to information to knowledge 3 1.3 Kolb’s learning cycle 4 1.4 The decision-making process 12 1.5 Characteristics of information for management decisions 14 1.6 Information for team operations 15 1.7 Structure of an MIS 16 1.8 Structure of a DSS 17 1.9 Structure of an ESS 18 2.1 Adding value to information 36 4.1 Anthony’s pyramid 61 4.2 The system life cycle 62 4.3 An information systems disaster menu 63 4.4 Diagrammatic contrast of the Internet, intranet and 65 extranet 5.1 The dynamic relationship between information and 76 knowledge 5.2 The knowledge spiral 78 5.3 Theory-in-use model 79 5.4 Double-loop learning 79 5.5 The 12 steps to knowledge mobilisation 90Tables 1.1 Characteristics of formal and informal information sources 9 1.2 Examples of information needs and sources 9 1.3 Main types of search engines 25 4.1 Methods of data security 71Series Preface Series Preface ‘I hear I forget I see I remember I do I understand’ Galileo Management Extra is designed to help you put ideas into practice. Each book in the series is full of thought-provoking ideas, examples and theories to help you understand the key management concepts of our time. There are also activities to help you see how the concepts work in practice. The text and activities are organised into bite-sized themes or topics. You may want to review a theme at a time, concentrate on gaining understanding through the text or focus on the activities whilst dipping into the text for reference. The activities are varied. Some are work-based, asking you to consider changing, developing and extending your current practice. Others ask you to reflect on new ideas, check your understanding or assess the application of concepts in different contexts. The activities will give you a valuable opportunity to practise various techniques in a safe environment. And, finally, exploring and sharing your ideas with others can be very valuable in making the most of this resource. More information on using this book as part of a course or programme of learning is available on the Management Extra website. www.managementextra.co.uk xiIntroduction Information is crucial Information is so crucial to all aspects of our lives that we literally cannot afford to manage it badly. Individuals and organisations rely on their ability to select and process information, both to make sense of their local environment and to try to understand the bigger picture. Information management underpins the key activities of planning, analysis, action and, above all, learning and development. How to make information useful Organisations need to manage information well and consistently in order to be responsive to the needs of their customers. This book approaches information management from two key perspectives:  How you as a manager use and manage information  The information management process and how it impacts on decision making and organisational performance. It looks at information in five themes, starting with the sourcing of information and culminating in an exploration of the ways in which organisations manage information and knowledge. Finding information to meet your needs – finding good sources of information  Managing your incoming information – reducing the overload  Managing your outgoing information – the way you communicate information  How organisations manage information and knowledge – the systems  How organisations manage information and knowledge – the content xiiiYour objectives are to:  Identify sources of information relevant to your needs inside and outside of your organisation  Evaluate and improve the quality of your information sources  Learn how to manage information overload  Describe key principles for communicating effectively in writing  Identify the principles behind information system design and management  Explain the features of knowledge management.1 Information and decision making Information and decision making 1 People need information to plan their work, meet their deadlines and achieve their goals. They need it to analyse problems and make decisions. Information is certainly not in short supply these days, but not all of it is useful or reliable. This first theme explores your needs for information and asks you to consider how they are served by the sources of information that are available to you. In this theme you will:  Consider the differences between data, information and knowledge  Identify and evaluate the sources of information that you use  Assess whether information flows effectively within your team and identify areas for improvement  Analyse how effectively you use the Internet as an information source. From data to information to knowledge and learning H D Clifton (1990) wrote that ‘one man’s information is another man’s data’, and certainly the definitions are blurred. However, it is now generally agreed that ‘data’ is pure and unprocessed – facts and figures without any added interpretation or analysis. Depending on the context, data can be highly significant. Think of a cricket or football score, your name and address. Since it provides the raw material to build information, it also has to be accurate. Any inaccuracies within the initial raw data will magnify as they aggregate upwards, and will seriously corrupt the validity of any conclusions you draw from it or decisions you base upon it. Data In a business context, data is associated with the operational aspects of the business and its day-to-day running. As such, it is often entered into a system and stored in large quantities, for example payroll data and sales figures. Such input data goes to create a data ‘set’ – names and addresses for a mail-merge file, an index to an online product database. It has to be structured correctly – all systems have some kind of validation process to check for obvious technical errors and missing data. To be reliable, the content needs to be accurate, not simply in terms of the correct number and typeInformation and Knowledge Management of characters per data field, but what the data actually represents in terms of meaning. This needs human intervention. Another aspect that affects accuracy is where the data comes from. You may be able to check your own in-house sources – for example, for internally generated data such as the payroll – but have to depend on trust (or the reputation of the supplier) for data received from outside, for example customer credit card details. Information So how does ‘data’ (whether internal or external) become ‘information’? When it is applied to some purpose and is adding value which has meaning for the recipient, for example taking sets of sales figures (data) and producing a sales report on them (information). applied for Data Information a purpose Figure 1.1 From data to information Of course, the same set of data can be used to produce different kinds of information, depending on how it is applied and who applies it. The same sales figures that you use to produce a market sector report might be used by someone else to justify adding to or reducing the size of the sales team. Such information can be used to manage a department, and for short and medium-term planning. Data can move to information and be turned to practical advantage very quickly – in 1815 the London Stock Market rapidly took advantage of the news brought by carrier pigeon of Wellington’s victory at Waterloo, which arrived two days before the human messenger arrived. Information produced inside the organisation can be supplemented by a wealth of business information produced outside – market analyses, reports and case studies, for example. Put briefly, information by itself is only of use if it is:  the right information (fit for the purpose)  at the right time  in the right format  at the right price. 21 Information and decision making Knowledge Just as the words ‘data’ and ‘information’ are used interchangeably, there is considerable blurring and confusion between the terms ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’. It is helpful to think of knowledge as being of two types: the instinctive, subconscious, tacit or hidden knowledge, and the more formal, explicit or publicly available knowledge. An everyday example of these might be the knowledge that you use when driving a car (tacit), compared with the knowledge available from a driving manual or the Highway Code (explicit). Theme 5 looks at knowledge in more detail and how it can be managed within organisations. applied for build and Data Information Knowledge a purpose process Figure 1.2 From data to information to knowledge In a business context, knowledge is often linked to strategic levels of management and long-term business planning, where it is associated with having a head for business or business flair. However, knowledge vital to an organisation’s success can come from any level within it, and needs to be recognised as an important part of organisational assets. It combines information, experience and insight into a mix that is unique to every employee. It is this mix of understandings, based on personal knowledge at a tacit level, that creates the strengths and at times the vulnerability of organisations. It is important for organisations to recognise that holding knowledge at the tacit or hidden level can only have value where people are isolated from everyone else in their decision making. This is neither realistic nor good business practice. Let’s sum up data–information–knowledge with an everyday example. Assume that you’re trying to decide on a specialist holiday for photography enthusiasts. Here, very broadly, are the stages you will go through: Stage 1: collect lots of brochures on photography holidays. This is your basic data store. Stage 2: work through the brochures, filtering out what you don’t want by applying your own criteria to them. Some will be in places you don’t want to go to, or at the wrong time of year, or the programmes may be at the wrong level of expertise (you may be looking for some advanced tuition, and many of the holidays are geared to beginners). You can now apply your information and make a decision on where to go on your 3 holiday.Information and Knowledge Management Stage 3: you go on your holiday and build your knowledge from testing your actual experience of the holiday against the information you had when you booked it. This knowledge (which you can use next time you want a similar holiday) can be kept to yourself (tacit) or you can share it by reporting back to your local photography club (explicit). Capitalising on knowledge by making the tacit explicit, and identifying and managing the processes that nurture it, is a thread that runs through this book. Building knowledge – learning So how do we collect, process and build our knowledge? Kolb (1985) believes that there are four stages we all go through as part of the learning cycle:  learning from feeling (through specific experience and relations with other people)  learning by watching and listening (looking at things from different perspectives, observing carefully and reflecting before making judgements)  learning by thinking (reflecting on and analysing ideas, drawing up mental maps and planning)  learning by doing (getting things done, influencing other people, taking risks). CONCRETE EXPERIENCE (Learning from feeling) REFLECTIVE ACTIVE OBSERVATION EXPERIMENTATION (Learning by (Learning by doing) watching and listening) ABSTRACT CONCEPTUALISATION (Learning by thinking) Figure 1.3 Kolb’s learning cycle Source: Kolb (1985) We all go through each of these processes to an extent, but different people feel more comfortable with some than with others. For example, an action-oriented person who likes to learn by doing may get very frustrated in a learning-by-watching situation or in one that requires reflection and analysis. It is useful for managers to be aware of their own and their staff’s learning styles, since these provide valuable insights into making most effective use of different 4 methods of training.1 Information and decision making Argyris and Schön (1974) argue that people act in accordance with a set of mental maps that they themselves have created. It is these subconscious maps (or private, self-generated theories) that guide people’s actions. They called these theories that are implicit in what we do theories-in-use: these are what govern our actual behaviour. The words we use to describe that behaviour to others – how we like to justify our actions to other people, or what we would like them to think – can be quite different. This is called espoused theory. It may sound cynical, but if someone asks you how you would behave in a particular set of circumstances, the answer you will give will almost certainly be espoused theory: the public rather than the private set of principles. Argyris and Schön’s view is that real effectiveness results from developing congruence between theory-in-use and espoused theory: creating harmony between your inner and outer self. Theme 5 looks at a theory-in-use model and the options for organisational learning. Learning – from the individual to the organisation People learn by seeking out information when faced with a new situation, and using this information to draw conclusions and form mental models which they use as the basis for their action. If these mental models are confirmed and reinforced by our experience in reality, then over time they become so familiar that they become routine, used automatically and with no conscious effort. This applies to the presenter who always opens up proceedings with a joke. It also applies to the air traffic controller at an international airport, but in this case we expect the knowledge to be embedded and made explicit through a series of rules and procedures that are recognised and shared by everyone else. Organisations use routines, rules and procedures as a way of sharing knowledge and creating standardised processes throughout the organisation. These are the systems we use to do our work. Such systems existed before the desktop computer, but computerisation has led to sophisticated information technology (IT) systems for accessing, inputting, processing and sharing information that can be used widely and quickly across the organisation. The problem for organisations is that routines become old learning and so embedded into our systems that they stifle creativity and the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances. This flexibility – the ability to change and learn – is essential to organisations if they are to survive and grow. The way organisations seek to encourage learning and the sharing of information and knowledge are important aspects of information management. 5Information and Knowledge Management Activity 1 Identify the differences between data and information Objectives This activity will help you to:  check your understanding of data, information and knowledge  identify how you add value to data and information to serve your purpose and create knowledge. Task 1 List six items of data or information that you receive regularly. 2 Categorise each as ‘data’ or ‘information’. 3 Summarise what you use each item for – your purpose. 4 Note how you add value to each item to create information or knowledge. 5 Who is involved in this process? Item of data/ Data or Purpose How you Who is involved information? information add value in adding value? 61 Information and decision making Feedback Your work on this activity should have given you some insight into the fact that data on its own is of limited value, and that value has to be added to it to turn it into information. However, the key value- added is knowledge. Use this activity to gain a deeper appreciation of the knowledge available in yourself and your colleagues. Information comes in many forms Here are just a few reasons why you, as a manager, need information:  You need to understand what the organisation as a whole is doing, as well as understand what is happening in your own unit or department  You need to be aware of wider industry developments that may impact on the business  It helps day-to-day problem solving and longer-term planning  It can avoid having to reinvent the wheel  Being aware of different practices and other ways of doing things can spark off new ideas and facilitate change. You use information all the time, often unconsciously. It comes in many different forms, and these are explained here. Forms of information Forms of information include the following:  Internal and external – information generated Information need not be inside the organisation and information generated written down or be outside. External intelligence and research may be verbalised to be valuable incorporated into internal reports, and issues arising from internal reports may stimulate external market research.  Electronic and hard copy (paper-based), and spoken. At Sun Microsystems, employees receive, on average, 100 e-mails each day, but few people work in a paperless office. Most people also use conversation with others for information. 7Information and Knowledge Management  Hard and soft – or quantitative and qualitative. Hard information is often derived from large quantities of precise factual data, such as figures, that lends themselves to statistical analysis. Soft information, on the other hand, tends to come from few sources and depends on opinions, feelings, impressions and judgements.  Formal and informal. This is worth exploring in more depth. Formal and informal Some of the formal information sources you might use every day include:  newspapers or electronic newsfeeds  magazine articles  management reports  staff disciplinary procedures  videos of product presentations  layouts, maps, blueprints. You will also use a number of informal information sources – so informal that you might not even recognise them as such They can include:  a chat with the managing director’s personal assistant whilst queuing for lunch  checking out a problem with a colleague  meeting up with colleagues from the same trade or professional association at the annual conference  informal contacts with suppliers and customers. Some of the most useful of these sources will be information gatekeepers – people who routinely collect, evaluate and disseminate information in an informal way which may have nothing to do with their job role. These people are well aware of the way information flows around their local environment, and can exercise an influence that goes well beyond their notional status within the organisation. If you think about it, information need not even be written down or verbalised to be valuable. You can learn a lot about an organisation and its culture simply by walking about and keeping your eyes open, observing the way the organisation goes about its business and presents itself to staff and the outside world. There are some key differences in the characteristics of formal and informal information sources, as shown in Table 1.1. 81 Information and decision making Formal Informal Available to more than one person May be an interchange between just two people Information captured has been recorded in some way, The information is transient – not stored or retrievable so can be reused The information used is selected by the recipient – The information is selected by the provider for example, you decide which newspaper reports you are going to read Information tends to be static Information is interactive Information is likely to conform to the organisation’s Information is more likely to be ‘private’ and although promoted self-image – it is likely to be ‘espoused theory’ partial, is likely to be closer to theory-in-use than formal information sources Table 1.1 Characteristics of formal and informal information sources There are several reasons why managers prefer informal to formal methods of information transfer:  The response and feedback is instant. The whole process is quicker and so is perceived as more efficient (even if the information is only patchy or actually inaccurate).  Being personal, it is targeted at the recipient, so some initial filtering will have been carried out (but is this the half of the picture you want and need...?).  They might not know what useful formal information is available, or how to access it.  Cultural reasons: decisions are often made on the basis of experience and judgement, not painstaking fact finding. In practice, it makes sense to use a mix of formal and informal, hard and soft data to get a complete picture. Table 1.2 shows some typical information needs and the information sources that might meet them. Need/purpose Types of information Produce a report on Who asked for the report and who will read it ice-cream sales for June Projected and actual sales figures Previous year’s figures Meteorological data Report of June launch of new ice-cream product by major competitor Your awareness of your Company reports and budgets Discussions at the coffee machine own organisational Products and services launched or axed Share price environment Internal newsletters and memos Competitor share price (keeping your finger on Meetings the pulse) Competitor intelligence Press reports on company performance Trade journals and activities News reports Market research data/market analysis Share price Company websites Trends analysis and forecasting Company annual reports Industry gossip Table 1.2 Examples of information needs and sources 9

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