Different Types of Business Information, Their Sources and Purposes

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  • Topic: Marketing, Strategic management, Management
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Different types of business informaiton, their sources and purposes

Business information comes from a wide variety of sources and an effective business person will research information from a range of sources before making decisions. Business information is one of the three main segments of the information industry. The other two segments are scientific, technical and medical, and educational and training content.

Verbal information is literally face to face which is seen as the best way to communicate. This way there is less scope for misunderstanding and it allows for verbal and non verbal messages. However, with the constraints of time and budgets in business, it is not always possible or pratical to meet in person. Telephone conversations are always another seen way to communicate well. The range in which people can communicate verbaly is enormous. Speech enables complex ideas to be expressed and discussed. For most people, talking is the most comfortable method of expression.

Written information is the use of physical symbols to represent words. Words are sounds that make up speech. Other forms of physical representation, such as diagrams, graphs and charts are also types of visual representation. Written information may come from a wide variety of sources including newpapers, books, trade journals and government publications.

On screen information may be produced on-screen. This can be seen in multimedia TV and CD-ROMs that combine text, graphics, animation, audio and video.

Multimedia information can be text, graphics, audio, animation, video, data and many more. It is media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. Multimedia is usually recorded and played, displayed or accessed by information content processing devices, such as computerised and electronic devices, but can also be part of a live performance.

Web-based information is an information system that uses internet web technologies to deliver information and services, to users or other information systems/applications. Reliable and valid information is essential to all business and organisations. An organisation without any information is pretty much pointless as they haven’t a clue where they are going or what they’re doing. Organisations can use information for a variety of purposes that include: updating knowledge, informing future developments, strategic direction and SWOT analysis, offering competitive insight, communicating sales promotions and inviting support for activities.

Informing future developments

A business that doesn’t adapt, develop or grow quickly will find itself left behind by the competetion. Developments need to be based on informed decisions. A business will not launch a new product unless it has ample evidence that the product is likely to sell.

Strategic direction and SWOT analysis

Strategic management is the process by which organisations determine their purpose, objectives and desired levels of attainment. This helps an organisation decide on actions for achieving these objectives in a more appropriate timescale. This also allows the organisation to implement the actions, and then assess progress and results. A business requires large amounts of information from both external and internal sources. Once this information is obtained, a very useful planning tool known as SWOT analysis is used. A SWOT analysis can be used as a tool for auditing an organisation and its environment.

A strength of internal factors could be that your specialist marketing expertise, a new, innovative product or service, the location of your business, quality processes and procedures and many more. A weakness could be lack of marketing expertise, the location of your business, poor quality goods or services and a damaged reputation. An opportunity could be a developing market such as the internet, mergers, joint ventures or strategic alliances, moving into new market segments that offer improved profits...
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