How to Turn Information into Intelligence

INFORMATION-BLOG-VERSIONYears ago I worked on a project for the Department of Homeland Security. We were putting in place the strategy and processes to ensure that information was gathered and shared across the entire department to protect the United States. What I learned is that information sharing is only as valuable as the intelligence it can become, and the process of creating intelligence is a lot harder than just sharing information.

These days we have become a culture of information sharers. We share articles, blogs, updates, quotes, videos, and so on and so forth.

But here’s my question.

How many of you are actually turning that information into intelligence?

Actual business intelligence that you can use to change something in your life and your company?

Even better, how many of you assess the information you share and make it relevant to someone else, ideally someone who may already be, or one day become, a customer?

If you’re not doing this, here’s what you can do about it.

I’m asking because I’m a little tired of all the information sharing (and yes, I do realize that I’m one of the information sharers). We have become a culture that is obsessed with the act of sharing information. I see so little action, momentum, or *doing* in information sharing.

Instead, we fall into the trap of pushing something to someone else in the hopes that he or she will get something out of it. We don’t add context. We don’t say, “I know how you could use this – let’s set up a phone call to chat about it.” Or, “Here’s why I think this is relevant to you.”

So I’ve started watching how others share information. And I’ve noticed something.

The people who are actually taking the time to add context and relevance are starting conversations, spurring action, adding value to clients’ businesses, and jumpstarting new projects.

They are also showing that they care. They are showing they took the time and put some thought into the gesture. And these days, that means a lot.

Look around and find the business owners around you who are doing this. Then follow their lead. Because these are the folks you want to emulate. They are the doers, the ones who are assessing information and creating intelligence, sharing it with intention, and often tackling important problems.

They look at the problem, and they consider the angles. They see a solution, and they consider the players.

And guess what?

It works.

Big time.

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