One of the biggest crocks still out there is that we are inundated with information, so much so that it can paralyze our decision-making. Like I just said, it is a crock.
We are inundated with data. However, there is a difference between data and information.
Data is, simply put, “stuff” or better yet, lists of “stuff.” Last month’s sales numbers are data. How many people are on Facebook is data. This is what we are inundated with.
Information on the other hand, is data that is organized and presented in a way that allows us to take an informed action. It is data placed in context.
Rather than information overload, we often have an information deficit.
Check this out:
1 billion people use YouTube (10/3/2016)
4 billion views per day on YouTube (1/23/2012)
6 billion hours of video watched per month (4/21/14)
40 minutes is the average time spent in YouTube in a session. (10/3/16)
OMG! That is amazing data! Why aren’t you producing videos on YouTube! Look at the audience! That simple list above is a perfect example of meaningless data. By the way, the site I pulled those numbers from (that pulled them from numerous other sites and studies) has another 140 fascinating statistics. Lots of data without any context!
Qualifiers that might turn some of that data into information depending on what you are looking for:
Age ranges of users
Types of videos viewed
Average time spent viewing what types of videos
It is easy to overwhelm yourself with data. Take some time and determine what data can be used to generate information and then focus on that. You will feel a lot less overwhelmed, and more successful.