Good quality information is crucial for effective decision making. In this article, we will discuss the attributes that add value to information and how they can be improved.
Attributes of Good Quality Information: There are several attributes that contribute to good quality information. Let’s explore them in detail.
|Promptness||Information must be available promptly to avoid delays in decision-making.|
|Accuracy||The degree of absence of error in the process of generation of information.|
|Precision||Relevant information without excessive details.|
|Completeness||Complete information that meets all the needs of a manager.|
|Unambiguity||Clear communication of information that conveys the same meaning to different users.|
1. Promptness in Availability and Updation
Decision-making requires timely availability of information. Some information is needed periodically, while other types are required suddenly and irregularly. It is essential to provide information promptly to help managers make quick decisions and minimize the loss of opportunity or mitigate possible business threats. Good information systems are designed to update information regularly, and some are even updated in real-time.
Accuracy is the degree to which information is free from error. While high accuracy is desirable, it may come at a cost. Therefore, it is necessary to determine acceptable levels of accuracy for each type of information. For instance, cost estimates for a product must be accurate since even a minor inaccuracy can significantly impact enterprise performance. On the other hand, market size estimates and the company’s share in it may have a higher degree of error but still be valuable to decision-makers.
Precision is the virtue of good quality information that involves providing relevant information without overwhelming users with excessive details. Too much information can result in dumping of important information in a heap of details that may not be required at a particular point of time. Excessive detail leads to information overload, resulting in what is known as Information Fatigue Syndrome. Managers value only precise information and disregard unnecessary details.
Incomplete information can be misleading and result in wrong decisions. Therefore, it is crucial to communicate complete information that meets all the needs of a manager. In case providing comprehensive information is not feasible for one or the other reason, the manager must be informed of this fact, so that they use the incomplete information with caution.
Clear communication of information is vital to good quality information. Information should be unambiguous, conveying the same meaning to different users. Modern data systems maintain data dictionaries that define the variable used in the information to standardize the terminology used in reports.
Apart from the attributes discussed above, there are other attributes such as quantifiability, verifiability, unbiasedness, etc. that can improve the quality of information.
The extent to which the quality of information can be maintained depends on cost considerations, the nature and source of information, time available for generating information, and other factors.
Good quality information is essential for effective decision-making. The attributes discussed above add value to information and should be aimed at to improve the quality of information. The cost considerations, nature and source of information, time available for generating information, and other factors also play a role in maintaining the quality of information.