Amorphous Information

Published by Lex on

Structuring amorphous information is one of the largest challenges of the information age. But the idea that information is under control is illusory and dangerous.

Gathering information into rows and tables is like coloring inside the lines. While this may work if you want a nice neat picture, the neat picture is a fantasy.

The picture is messy and the information is messy. The assumptions are messy and the conclusions about the information are dubious at best.

Yet, we try to interpret information. We combine information into packets. Massively biased packets. The packets seem logical enough. Hand curated packets, machine curated packets and random packets all have some sort of bias that influence and persuade.

However, putting structure around information is yet another bias. You can put borders around information, but it is similar to putting borders around land. The borders are arbitrary. While the borders are constraining, they are also freeing. However, imposing order from outside mostly causes conflict not clarity. Interdisciplinary studies and cross functional teams are starting to get at the problem. Combining bits and bytes from other discipline is where progress is made.

Going deeper without looking laterally is what causes blindspots in knowledge. While splitting knowledge into disciplines and specialties is great for adding depth, but not necessarily perspective.

Broad perspective and depth is what is needed for useful information management innovation. How you deal with amorphous information is an opportunity for innovation and differentiation.