Information Literacy: Improving Business Efficiency Through Information Use

In a broader sense, information is simply processed, structured and organised information. It gives context to previously processed data and allows decision making about more effectively. For instance, a single consumer’s sale in a particular restaurant is statistical information-this becomes important data when the company is able to pinpoint the least popular or most popular dish served. However, prior to the development of the internet, the same information would have had to be communicated in maybe even more detail. For instance, it might have been necessary to analyse the customer’s food consumption patterns over many years in order to determine what the ideal menu should be. Information systems enable companies to manage their resources more effectively by making information and numerical data available to management in an easy to understand format.

However, even with the spread of information systems throughout organisations, there is still a need for business owners to have some input into the design of the information system. After all, information systems are not static entities, they are constantly evolving. A great deal of business activity now happens online, so there is an added need to keep up with the pace. To that end, business people should be involved in the process from the very beginning of the information system design. This will allow them to get a better idea of how the system will operate, and will give them an opportunity to suggest improvements or changes which will make the information system more efficient.

In essence, information systems are the interface between individuals and organisations, supplying them with relevant, accurate and up-to-date information for decision-making. They make information use more effective and provide managers and employees with a reliable source of information for strategic planning, as well as a useful tool for decision analysis. In other words, information systems are key to the modern organisation, facilitating efficiency, cost reduction and greater levels of productivity. In order to ensure that these benefits are effectively realised, business owners and managers need to understand their roles in the development of the information systems.