upfront: The Power of Information

By now, most of us have, hopefully, watched our 401K account balances recover with the stock market from the late summer selloff. But, as any financial adviser or economist will tell you, we're not out of the woods yet.

We can thank the Asian financial crisis for these jittery, up-and-down market conditions we're experiencing now. But there's something to be learned from what happened in Asia for IS managers everywhere. That's because the World Bank last month blamed the collapse of Asian markets on "information failures."

Because accounting standards and information disclosure were so poor in Asian countries, investors couldn't tell bad banks from good banks, or viable firms from bankrupt firms, so they simply withdrew their money from all. That massive outflow of capital destroyed the Asian markets and caused instability in global markets.

Now I'm not saying that unless every North American company embraces data warehousing, our economy will be doomed. But just as investors need information about companies to make the right investment decisions, managers need information about their own companies to make the right business decisions. This couldn't be truer now as overseas markets dry up, making competition more and more fierce for the limited dollars available.

How are your products selling? Can you break it down by geographic region or customer type? Can you rate the performance of your employees and customer accounts? What about the success of your marketing/advertising campaigns? If you don’t readily have the answers to these and dozens of other questions about your business, then you should increase your investment in business intelligence.

With the demand for information growing and more and more business intelligence solutions available in the AS/400 space, there's no better time to put the power of information to work for your company.

Email: callaghandv@midrangesystems.com