Moving Up the Information Value Chain to Address Future Needs

The study of intangible data, information, knowledge, and ideas have helped us craft careers and livelihoods around them in this information age.  But

Most small business either sell data, information, knowledge, or ideas. The following tips might help you find the niche your business is in.

  • If your business comprises of collating numbers for customer surveys, managing someone’s itineraries, or transcribing voice into print, then your business falls under the selling data category.
  • If your main source of revenue depends on compiling data into easily understandable charts, tables, and summaries, then your firm falls under the category of selling information. Moreover, this category also includes, but are not limited to doing research and mining data to reveal useful industry trends.
  • If your business’ main mission is combine information to produce special reports, publish books, create videos, or design training seminars, then it definitely falls under the category of selling knowledge.
  • If combining knowledge from different sources allows your business to create new approaches, craft strategies, formulate tangible action plans, and propose solutions, then it falls under the selling ideas category.

Based on my observations, most small businesses seem to fall under the ‘Selling Information’ category.

Selling information is very useful to any industry; which in turn means that selling information can be very profitable. On the other hand, being the profitable industry that it is, selling information means that there is also more competition. Businesses in the industry selling data, information, and knowledge are quickly getting more demands from their customer base. In turn, more and more businesses are setting up shop every day to cater to these needs.

From my experience, I see that the industries are moving from quantity to timely relevant quality. If you observe people around you, you would see that there are lots of people who still contract the services of a travel agent, just for very simple trips. Likewise, you would observe that people still love watching medical shows on the television even if there are lots of available medical information that can be found on the internet.

In this information age, almost anyone of us has access to any data or information that we need; yet, we still want experts to do most of the hard labor for us. Due to us being  time-poor and results-driven at the same time, we’d like to have an expert take care of these things. One example that I can think of is that if you need to fix a certain issue on your website, do you download in a crash course in HTML, or do you just have a web developer do it?  My thoughts, exactly.

Based on the current trends, I reckon that there will be needs on the following:

  • We need people to make sense of the available data and information to create relevant knowledge that we can apply to our business.
  • We need people who will make sense of data and information so that we can use these in our businesses.
  •  We only need knowledge and ideas – on demand; just when we need them. We therefore need people who can make a relevant contribution to our business.

Have you considered how your business are going to meet these future needs?

One of the best tips that I can share with you is to move up the information value chain. Moving up not only adds more value to your products and services, but it also allows you to create a diverse portfolio of offerings.

The higher you move up the information value chain, the safer you will be from commodisation. Not only that, but you will also potentially increase your market differentiation.

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