Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

First Name:
Last Name:
Tipsheet Archive
Randall's Resources
Whenever I speak or write, I often prepare extra "bonus" materials.
Enter the Resource Code to access this special content:
Resource Code:
Try this example Resource Code: eventplanning

Data, Information, Intelligence

by Randall Craig on November 21, 2006

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet

Tagged as: ,

How many hours have you spent trolling through the internet, doing “research” on a particular company or industry? Many people spend too much time on research, and put off making a decision or acting on it.

The reason? Most people are averse to risk. We rationalize that with more information, there is a lower risk of failure. But how do we know when we’ve done enough research? Consider the Data-Information-Intelligence model: instead of making a quantum leap between Data Gathering and Action – we break it down into steps:

Data Gathering: Decide what you need to collect, then obtain it from your workplace, friends, the internet, library, or other sources. Don’t waste time in pre-data-gathering activities – such as “internet surfing”. Write down what you’re looking for on a piece of paper, then when you have found the data, move on.

Information: As it is collected, organize the Data into logical groupings: Pros/Cons, History/Current status, By divisions, By Country, or whatever seems to make sense. Look to see if there are any patterns to the information that you have collected.

Intelligence: Change from an information organizer to an intelligence analyst: What does the information mean? What are the implications? Are there any trends? If there are any gaping questions that are unanswered, ask if more data will help you make your decision. If yes, then get it; if not, then it is time to act.

This week’s action item: Whenever you need to do research this week, make sure that you move through intelligence – otherwise you’ll never get to Action.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

Previous post:

Next post: