James W. Cortada

We may have missed something while we were concerned with the newest Apple gadget and Google’s continual growth: the fundamental transformation of entire businesses and industries into enormous information-processing machines. In the process of performing their tasks, more than 80% of workers now gather and evaluate information, frequently in digital form. This book provides a roadmap for the use of information in work processes and traces information flows across supply-chain management, product development, customer interactions, and sales to provide guidance on the use of information in modern business. Information itself, not information technology, is the focus. Information is the core element of the modern corporate, having been briefly eclipsed by the glamour and novelty of IT.

James Cortada, a longtime IBM manager and consultant, explains the distinctions between data, facts, information, and knowledge in his book Information and the Modern Corporation. He also discusses how the art of analytics has all but eliminated intuition-based decision-making in favor of fact-based decisions. He outlines the working habits of “road warriors,” who use their laptops and mobile devices as their office and whose in-depth knowledge of a particular subject serves as their primary form of communication.

The utilization of information determines a firm’s actions, and information is the foundation of the modern enterprise. This indispensable manual demonstrates to managers and staff better methods to utilize information—by purpose, not by chance.