Business information, which is commonly understood as essential information related to a company’s operations, activities and business environment, is an essential resource for managers. Managers make decisions relying on the information they receive from different sources inside and outside their organization. The use of information and communication technology has made information acquisition and dissemination easier, but at the same time it has increased the risk of information overload.
Although appropriate information is considered to be one of the premises for achieving a competitive advantage there is a large amount of information which brings no advantage to an organization. The incorrect or inappropriate information may even misinform managers, thereby hindering rather than helping decision making. The defining of business information needs aims to diminish the gathering of needless information as well as to promote the use of appropriate information.
When assessing the information needs of managers, the method should be chosen carefully by comparing those available. The method of choice should be the most suitable for the particular task. In the literature, several methods for defining information needs are presented. A group of these methods are discussed in this paper. The methods under discussion include among others interviews, questionnaires, Key Intelligence Topics (KITs) and Critical Success Factors (CSFs). The methods are discussed and evaluated from the point of view of defining business information needs.
Vuori, Vilma, "Methods of Defining Business Information Needs" (2006). ICEB 2006 Proceedings (Tampere, Finland). 56.