Managing Today’s Information Avalanche

While many would like to believe that the digital age has made it easier for companies and consumers to stay informed about the latest news and events, the truth is that people are inundated by information and actually need to work harder to sort through it all. Today’s abundance of facts, opinions, comments, and perspectives makes it difficult and time consuming to put so much content into context. The irony is that we have so much more information, but have less of an understanding of what’s really going on. Harvard Business Review recently offered advice on the best ways to control and consume this saturation of information.

1. Focus on a Few Important Indicators – Businesses are overwhelmed on a daily basis with data from multiple sources. The problem arises when it takes so long to finally digest this data that it’s too late to take action. The constant stream of reports, emails, customer feedback, industry insight, and more makes it difficult to prioritize and get a solid grasp of the important information. The solution lies in selecting the most valuable sources of data and using them to guide the direction of your decisions.

2. Recognize the Top Trends – Information comes and changes so rapidly that it’s hard to get the big picture regarding business performance. Rather than go through every little detail, identify the main patterns and trends over time and use these as your main markers of progress.

3. Separate Fact from Opinion – The glut of online blogs and opinion columns makes it challenging to distinguish personal perspective from the actual story. Get your primary information from solid news sources and trusted industry analytics rather than relying on someone else’s views of the news.

4. Stay on Top of the News Network – The abundance of news sources has created a very competitive environment, but the best always rise to the top. Take a moment to see which sources are dominant in your industry and eliminate the ones that have little to offer.

5. Use Your Data to Encourage Dialogue – Think of information as a means to communication. Ask your colleagues and employees for their perspectives on current data since they can add important insight and interpretations to the facts and figures collected.

The digital age has led to an explosion of information that forces companies and consumers to be more selective about the sources they trust. With these five savvy strategies, it’s possible to manage this information overload and decipher the data that means the most.

At MDG, our 360° marketing approach uses just the right mix of traditional and online media to reach your hospitality marketing goals. While some industries may fare better on TV and others online, we strive to create a balanced approach where digital and traditional marketing efforts support each other and your message is tailored to the medium.

Read more at HBR.