IntroductionThis essay will outline in depth the main conceptsof data, information and knowledge. Along with the data manipulation practices,of particular business processes including administration, finance, sales and customerservice. In addition to this the this essay will summarise how Tesco use dataat different levels, at the strategic level, tactical level and operationallevel. As well as the different systems used at each level of the organisationto help employees make decisions.
Concept of DataDatais collected daily by organisations and businesses and data comes from manysources, such as customers, logistics and manufacturing. Data on its own is notuseful as it does not have a context and data is unorganised and unprocessed.There are different types of data, structured data which is highly organised,easy to access and is cost effective to store and analyse. Unstructured data,is text heavy and does not fit a pre-defined database and is expensive toanalyse. (Walker, 2012)”Data is raw. It simply exists and has nosignificance beyond its existence (in and of itself).
It can exist in any form,usable or not. It does not have meaning of itself. In computer parlance, aspreadsheet generally starts out by holding data.” (Ackoff, 1989)Afterbusinesses have collected data they will need to store the data, this processis dependent on many factors, such as capacity, the amount and size of datawhich is to be stored, speed, this refers to how quickly a business can accesstheir data once it is stored, a major factor includes reliability, this meansdata can be accessed reliably without corruption the same way it was stored,durability this is how long the storage medium which is used is expected tolast.
Therefore, when it comes to storing data organisations should take thesefactors into consideration. (Nikayin et al,2014)Concept of InformationInformationis data which has been processed within a context to give it meaning, for datato become information, data must be processed by the organisation. This willtherefore be meaningful to the person who will receive it.
“Information is data that has been givenmeaning by way of relational connection. This “meaning” can beuseful, but does not have to be. In computer parlance, a relational databasemakes information from the data stored within it.” (Ackoff, 1989)Organisationsmust ensure quality of data is the highest possible to obtain high qualityinformation. ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’ (GIGO) suggests data inputted which isof a poor standard or incorrect, the system will output poor quality andinaccurate information, no matter how good the system that is used.Organisations must ensure information they produce is accurate, otherwise(GIGO) will occur. Relevance is another factor organisations must consider, forinformation to be of use to the business the information must be relevant. Age,for data to be useful to businesses, the data must be up to date, informationis likely to change over time, thus out of date information will mislead abusiness and their goals.
Organisations must ensure the level of detail is theright amount, as too much detail could complicate things. Furthermore,Information can be classed in various ways such as source: internal, external,primary and secondary. Nature: qualitative, quantitative, formal and informal.Level: Strategic, Tactical and Operational. Time: Historical, current andfuture. (Lillrank, 2003)Concept of Knowledge(Becerra-Fernandez, 2014) States knowledge issimply the understanding of the rules needed to interpret data, this is therelationship between information and what to do with that information. Theability to form opinions, judgments, decision and predictions based on theunderstanding of information.
Knowledge management can be defined as “Doing what is needed to get the most ofknowledge resources.” Knowledge is not physical in nature rather anintangible asset. There are two main types of knowledge. Explicit knowledge,which is easy to collect, organise and transfer and store through a digitalplatform, knowledge is usually recorded as numbers and words. Tacticalknowledge is personal, content specific and hard to communicate. Tacticknowledge is fundamental to the whole of a person’s consciousness.
Knowledge isa central strategic asset for an organisation, knowledge management systems canbe used to the benefit of an organisation. (Laudon & Laudon, 2013) Data manipulationpractices within TescoTescois the biggest supermarket in the UK, providing a range of different productsand services, allocation of tasks and activities is dependent upon employee’sskills, this is known as the division of labour, it allows people to specialiseand develop their own knowledge and expertise in a particular group. Tescobeing the biggest supermarket in the UK, it has many departments within a business,which specialise in that sector. Tesco must hold a great deal of data,information and knowledge in other to run day-to-day business. Therefore, Tescomust account for manipulation data practices, how they store their data to makeit easier to understand and organise.
A business process is a step-basedprocess performed by an organisation to achieve a goal. A business process canbe manual or automated. One main business process within Tesco is administration; this isassociated with recruitment, as Tesco outlines a starter’s process, leaver’s processand vacation requests.
This is data, which must be manipulated so it is clearand concise within this sector of the organisation, and appropriatearrangements are made, data held may be data about employee and otherwork-related information such as work history. Another business process is finance; there are manyprocesses to this such as, an invoicing process, a billing process and a riskmanagement process. Within Tesco, numerous transactions will take place daily,therefore it is essential that data us up to data and stored securely so it doesnot reach the wrong people. Data, held, may be customer bank details as well asemployee payroll information. Sales, this includes a step plan to plan, which includes acomplete list of appropriate items such as customer demand, and productionlevels and forecast sales. Furthermore, customer service is a major factor in supermarketssuch as Tesco as they must store vast amounts of data about customers and keepthis up to date, this includes things general customer information and customerpurchase history, so they can target customers with offers based on what hasbeen bought previously.
(Spacey, 2017)The most beneficial way forTesco to store data would be in a database, as with a database they can holdvast amounts of data, which they can manipulate easily. Less time would bespent managing data, it is easy to analyse data in different ways, storing datain a database would increase the quality and consistency of information,information can be turned into a valuable asset to the organisation. Accordingto (Rouse, 2017)a database is a collection of information which is organised into rows, columnsand tables, it is indexed so it is easy to find data, it can easily be managed,accessed and updated, as new information is updated old data will be deleted. Information required at Tesco’s Operational,Tactical and Strategic levelWithin an organisation,information is required at three main levels; these are strategic, tactical andoperational. The amount of data required at each level is varied.
Strategic LevelThis is the highest level within an organisation,strategy is long-term decision making and planning. At strategic level,unstructured data is the main type required, this will be analysed by strategicmanagers and executive directors, and information that is required at thislevel by Tesco is sales information, this is needed to set targets for nextyear, and order stock appropriately depending on customer demand. At this levelTesco, will make important decisions for the future of the business consideringinformation provided, to assist them they can use a decision support system(DDS) DDS can be used to convert raw data into information, this makes thedecision making process easier. DDS is an executive dashboard, allows managerto make decision quickly by identifying negative trends and allocatingresources accordingly. Tesco may use this to help make decisions to prepare forthe upcoming year based on statistics from the current year. Tactical LevelThis is the middle management within theorganisation, this includes thing like which training course to offer to staffand timetable allocation. Tactical staff are most likely going to haveoperational staff reporting to them, most information required at tacticallevel is related directly to the organisations performance. At strategic level,semi-structured data is the main type required, in regards to Tesco, this couldbe administration, as at tactical level employee, recruitment takes place andtraining will be decided at this level based on the employee’s level of skillsand abilities.
To assist tactical management at Tesco, they could use amanagement information system (MIS). MIS uses operational level data to providemanagement with data, this data is made up of internal and external sources,and is given in an easy to read format such as tables and graphs. Informationis analysed by senior management, so quick decisions can be made. MIS are basedon databases. An executive information system can provide senior managementwith information, this is a form of MIS, which has a user friendly, graphicalinterface, information presented is usually based off the previous year.Tesco’s management could use MIS to analyse sales made in the year to plan forthe next.Operational LevelOperational level is thelowest level within an organisation, this consists of employees within anorganisation who take orders and keep an account of payment, and employees areinvolved at the productive end of the organisation, decision include orderingnew stock, information required at this level is of very high detail.
Employeesat this level are likely to use a transaction processing system (TPS) to assistthem with day-to-day activities. Operational staff daily use TPS, which dealswith routine, repetitive, transactions of an organisation. Processes such asemployee payments, taking orders and paying suppliers. Another system, whichwould be used by Tesco, is customer relationship management system (CRM). This allowsTesco to collect and maintain data about their customers; this information isstored in a centralised location and is accessible to, employees within theorganisation.
Information helps to improve customer service; the aim of thissystem is to improve customer satisfaction, as a happy customer is likely toshop again, this improves the customer relation and reduces complaints.ConclusionIn conclusionto better improve Tesco decision-making process, they should implement the decisionmaking systems, to help with their decision making process. This will enhancethe performance of Tesco, as it will allow them to make structured decisions onhow to better run their business. Tesco should also makesure all the data they use is up to date and accurate, as this will influence theoutput of information and knowledge.