In today’s world, tons of information is being generated every second.
A lot of people hate finding it.
They think it’s boring sifting through the data. To find the good stuff.
Me? I love it.
Boolean searches? Swoon.
Using online databases? Google? Duckduckgo? Bring it.
Reading the papers/magazines/email newsletters every day? And storing the information (either in a folder in my inbox or somewhere in my brain)? You might as well leave me alone. I won’t be paying attention to you for awhile.
Using social media? Absolutely. It’s amazing what kind of results you get when you use hashtags on Twitter, do a search on Facebook (thank you open individual profiles! For goodness sake, secure your profiles people) or Instagram (Pinterest? What’s that? Are they still around?). Wait until I find a way to datamine Periscope, Snapchat and Meerkat feeds. Then I’ll be in heaven!
Not only is information a set of facts and figures, but if you package this properly, someone (clients, friends etc) will be amazed.
Here’s two personal examples:
I remember my former running group. Former because as a group leader, it became increasingly boring for me to follow the “plan” (by the way, I love breaking them. Knowing that there’s a more efficient way of doing things. Thank you CNBC, GE and Neutron (Jack) Welsh). We were sitting at the coffee house after the run on a winter’s day. One of them was going to be laid off. And he was trying to find a way to change careers. As I was listening, I was sifting through my mental folders. I know I had the solution (I read a lot). The information somewhere in my brain. All I had to do was access it. As I was doing this, someone else was observing me and say “wait a sec. I can see Nick’s thinking about it. He’ll have the answer for you in 3,2,1.” Yep. I had an answer for him. It blew his mind.
Finally, I’m a director for a non-profit. We wanted to donate money. At first, the other directors wanted to target organizations but they found out that there was no transparency. Why not schools I asked? Underperforming elementary schools that could use the money to buy tech items? To improve their students marks. And the schools test scores. Prove it the directors said. It was easy to find the information. Unfortunately, it was scattered all over the place. School data from one organization. Neighborhood data from another. Combining it into a report to get the complete picture? Priceless. Needless to say, the others were convinced. The money is flowing. The schools are pleasantly surprised that an organization is giving them money. Out of the blue. I’m positive some of them are wondering how we found out about their situation.
These examples show the affect information has on a person or an organization. It prompts them to act.
Remember, information isn’t boring. It’s sexy.