For the development of an information system to be successful, it is necessary to be clear about what is needed. From the outset our aim with this project was to be able to answer some key questions which include:
- How many people are employed in the industry (by TATO members)?
- What are the education levels of people employed in the industry?
- How many tourists come to Tanzania and when?
- Where do tourists go and what do they do?
- How much in gross sales is generated?
This is a small sample of the questions we wanted to answer. For a bit more background and context, take a look at my previous post on this project.
Knowing what knowledge you want to know determines what data needs to be captured and also importantly the effort required in processing the data. The distribution of processing effort and resulting knowledge usefulness tends towards a bell curve; the more effort you put into processing the data, the more useful the information you get but up to a certain point. From this point onwards, more effort results in more knowledge but with diminishing usefulness.
Use of terms matters and the phrase 'diminishing usefulness' can be deceiving. This is not useless knowledge but rather very specific knowledge, so specific that it may not have wide usefulness. However this is context-dependent. Continue reading...