Help! I am Drowning in a Sea of Information

Hundreds of knowledge workers attended our first InfoBasex online event, “Information Overload Strategies,” yesterday.  Attendees (with titles ranging from president to product marketing manager to professor) came from companies of all sizes including IBM, Siemens, SAP, Citibank, American Express, Price Waterhouse, FranklinCovey, H-P, Jive Software, Deloitte, Consumers Union, Open Text, and Pratt and Whitney, just to name a few to point out the breadth and depth of attendees.

I wanted to share with you some comments and insights from the participants about why they attended and how information overload impacts them.

Why they came

Attendees were looking to find out:

  • how to manage [the problem of information overload]
  • new ideas
  • [It's a] daily challenge
  • strategies for better working practices
  • [how to] receive only what is accurate, timely, useful
  • [what is its] impact on strategic thinking

They stated:

  • “It’s personal AND professional–overwhelmed in both areas!”
  • “I have information overload…”
  • “Personal and professional.  Information Overload affects me, and I also see this as a major issue for knowledge workers in general.”
  • “I suffer from it.” (executive at Fortune 500 IT firm)

Regarding the problem as it concerns their organizations: ” [it's] a major challenge for us.”

One attendee’s job revolves around “developing objective measures of information complexity.”

Another noted a thought that could have come straight out of our research:
“I feel strongly that knowledge workers have not been trained properly to work in these times and that information overload is an outcome of this lack of training, as well as several other factors.”

Two comments stood out and we hope that we were able to throw a life preserver in their direction:

  • “I am deluged by everything I receive and things I read and research. Help!!!”
  • “I am swimming in a sea of info.  Need strategies to save and retrieve information on demand.”

I’ll leave you with this comment in conclusion: Information Overload is real, we live with it everyday and need to manage it.”  I heartily agree.

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.

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