Characteristics of Good Information :
Characteristics of information are as Follow:
- Confidence In The Source.
- Communication To The Right Person.
- Communication Methods.
- Communication Channel.
- Understand Ability.
- Value Of information.
information must be relevant to the problem being considered. Too many reports and messages fail to "keep to the point" and contain irrelevant parts, which make understanding more difficult and cause frustration to the user. Relevance is of course much effected by many of the qualities bellow.
information should be sufficiently accurate for its intended purpose and the decision maker should be able to relay on the information. The level of accuracy must be related to the decision level involved.
At operations level information may need to be accurate to the nearest penny, Kilogram, or minutes. On the other hand, sales manager at the tactical level will probably be best suited to information around to the nearest $ 100 or $ 1000 while at the strategic level rounding to the nearest ten thousand dollar are common.
The reliability of information increases with its completeness. However, the appropriate level of completeness varies enormously, according to type of the information.
For example, it is a fundamental principle of financial accounting that all the transactions should be included in to the books. The law would bee broken if transactions were deliberately left out. In the same way, personal records should contain detail of all employees.
However suppose a buyer has to make a decision about purchasing raw material. In order to obtain the best price, he obtain quotes from suppliers? Clearly not; because to do so, might delay the purchases and incur unnecessary costs.
4. Confidence In The Source:
For information to have value, manger must have confidence in the source,. Confidence enhanced when:
a. The source has been reliable in past
b. There is good communication between the information producer and the manager
For example, when the manager has been consulted over the contents, format and timing of reports and there is frank discussion over possible uncertainties and inaccuracies, confidence will be increased. Especially at strategic levels, management will cross check information from various sources to increase confidence in the message.
5. Communication To The Right Person:
Information must be communicated to the person who has to take action. In most cases this causes no problems.
For example, monthly report on the production efficiently of a department should be reported to the manager responsible for the operation of the department.
In some cases, however, the person who is best able to understand the information is not always the person who has authority for change. For example, inefficient production may be caused by a machine, which has outlined its use fullness and breaks down frequently. If the department manager has no authority for replacing the machine he may "sit on" the information because it refers for a situation, which is outside his control. If the information is not passed on to his superior in a way which is readily understandable, it may be that appropriate action is not taken.
In the same way, if a report in the failings of the machine is given only to the superior and not to the departmental manager; the superior mar not understand the seriousness of the situation and may be simply file the report with out consulting the subordinate. The best way to overcome this problem is to give a detail report to the departmental manager and a summery report for the superior.
Good information is that which is communicated in time to be used. To an extent, the need for speed can conflict with the need for accuracy; although modern processing methods can produce accurate information very rapidly. Once information is available there should be minimum possible delay in reporting it. Time factors, accuracy and reporting are illustrated by the following example:
a. Information Produce too Frequently:
An hourly production report is made to the production manager. The report is not used because manager needs shift wise production report . In this situation, the figures from the production department are the waste of efforts.
b. Information Produced too Infrequently:
The accounts department produces sales summaries for the sales manager every three months. The account department summaries are not use because information is needed weekly. In this situation, the figures from the accounts department are waste of effort expect as an overall check on the sales manager's own figures.
c. Information Reported too Slowly:
The annual report to the shareholders of a certain private company is produced nine months after the years - end, reporting a modest profit. In the intervening nine months the company has suffered from increased competition, at the same time as general slump in the market, resulting in significant losses. Clearly, the annual report is of little use to the decision problems of the shareholders in the circumstances. In a well designed information system, the frequency with which information is provided will depend on the need.
information should contain the least amount of detail consistent with effective decision - making. Every character means extra storage, more processing, and possibly poorer decisions. The level of detail should vary with the level in the organization the higher the level the greater the degree of compression and summarization. Sometimes information particularly at lower levels has to be very detailed to be useful, but the general rule of as little as possible consistent with effective use, must always apply.
8. Communication Methods:
Various channels of communication are used by organizations these include:
- Face to face communication.
- Written communication.
- Visual communication.
- Oral communication.
- Electronic communication.
Channels of Communication
|Face to face communication
- Formal Meetings
- Informal contacts
- Talk and discussion
- Video telephone
- Postal communication
- Internal mail by memoranda
- Booklet and manual
- Statement and tabulations
- Company magazine, Newsletters
- Notice boards
- Films and slides
- Public address system
- E - mail
- Data transmission networks
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
9. Communication Channel:
To be useable by the manager, information must be transmitted by means of communication process. Communication involves the interchange of facts, values judgments and opinion and the communication process may take many forms: face to face conversation, telephone calls, informal and formal meeting, conferences, memoranda, letters, reports, tabulations, charts, VDU transmission and so on.
Whatever be the process, good communication results where the sender and receiver are in accord over the meaning of a particular message. The channel of communication should be selected heaving regard to such thing as:
a. The nature of the information.
b. How quick the user require it?
c. What format the user requires?
d. What channel is most likely to motivate the user?
e. Geography (i.e. How far the information has to travel).
f. Cost of communication.
The following examples illustrate some of the relevant factors:
a. A fire breaks out in the stores:
Clearly, the information must be transmitted immediately using a fire alarm, internal and external telephone.
b. A cutting machine becomes badly adjusting and starts to produce components, which are too short:
The machine operator must communicate verbally with his or her superior immediately. It is pointless, waiting for the routine daily or weekly inspection.
c. An accounts clerk is processing petty cash vouchers which have not been authorized by appropriate officials:
The most efficient method of communicating information to several people internally as a required in this case is by memorandum. However, before sending out a memo, the effect on people's behavior must be estimated. It would usually be appropriate to see people individually first in order to explain company's policy.
d. Summery result of a subsidiary company Sharjah need to be sent to the head office in India for consolidation:
The fax is especially useful when communication quickly over long distance. Another alternative is to transmit data directly between computers over the telephone lines using modem links.
10. Understanding Ability:
Information, which is easy to understand, is more likely to produce action because managers are busy, they will dislike heaving to spend unnecessary time interpreting badly presented reports. Managers can however specify that format layout and style of presentation of the information they need modern computer packages contain tables, graphs, colors, and charts, all of which can assist in spending up and improving the understanding process. Information must be understandable by the person receiving it. If the information is not understood it cannot be used and thus cannot add value.
T art of keeping information simple and understandable is to highlight the significant factors, screening out any facts which are not important enough to effect the decision making process. Information is both new and important for the decision making process. A variety of techniques to present data more effectively may be used including:
- Eliminating unnecessary information.
- Carefully formatting critical information.
- Using colors.
- Using graphics.
You might like to try a mnemonic to remember the points above. This doesn't fit the list, which is described above exactly, but should certainly enable you to recall the key issues regarding the characteristic of information.
|A - ccurate
E-asy to use
12. Value of Information:
Information should have some values otherwise it would not be worth the cost of gathering processing, and filling it. The benefits obtainable from the information must also exceed the cost of acquiring it. For information to have value it must lead to a decision to take action which results in reducing costs, eliminating losses, increasing sales, better utilization of resources, prevention of fraud or providing management with information about the consequences of alternative causes of action. Information has no value if it is not surprise value.
In order to assess the value of information the following questions can be asked:
- What information is provide?
- What is it used for?
- Who uses it?
- How often is it produced?
- Does the frequency with which it used coincide with the frequency with which it is provided?
- What is achieved by using it?
- Are there alternatives to this sources of information?
|Appropriateness/Relevance of Information for Problem
||Understanding by User
||Value of Information
||None (Still Data)
||None (Still Data)
To ensure that information does have value means considering both the user and the problem or decision being dealt with. This is summarized above.