The Information Value Chain

In my last post, I introduced the concept of the “Information Value Chain.”

What is the Information Value Chain? Very simply, it’s the insight that Big Data only creates value if it goes through a series of steps, steps which eventually result in action back in the real world.

Like so:

Steps of the Information Value Chain

If we focus primarily on collecting data, we will create Data Lakes — remember them? — which on their own deliver no inherent value to the organisation.

If we focus on action, then we will make decisions based on inaccurate information and misleading data, resulting in the wrong action, wasted money and lost opportunity. A great example is this very popular story.

How to solve this conundrum? We can, and we will, get into the mechanics of building a robust Information Value Chain, but the starting point is human, not technological.

The starting point is this: What is the motivation for your project?

If it is to build a “Big Data System,” then I would argue that you are heading down the road to failure.

Here is what you should be setting as your goal:

“To build a system that creates value in [this] way, by enabling [these] actions, with the minimum of human intervention, using the best methods and based on the best possible information, in as close to real time as possible.”

There is a lot in this little idea. Let’s unpack it over the next few weeks.