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High-Tech & Technology -






Looking for a Growth Accelerator? It’s Right

Under your Nose

By Tzah Berki, Senior VP Data & Research and Chief Economist


n the course of my career, I conducted due

diligences to thousands of businesses, and

was amazed to discover, over and over again,

the potential assets businesses own, while being

completely unaware of them. I call this phenome-

non: The Unseen Economy. There are many types

of unseen assets, but in order to understand that

we own an unseen asset, we have to identify it

and try to evaluate it or estimate its contribution

to our business activity. In recent years, one of

the most prominent categories of unseen assets

is the information that businesses hold, and I’m

not referring only to high-tech companies or large

corporations, but to any business whatsoever,

including the floristry shop down the street. To-

day, the fastest growing businesses are those

which collect information and properly arrange

it in a way that enables the drawing of accurate

business conclusions. We can use information

to reach conclusions about all of the aspects

of our business activities, from marketing and

sales to operations and financial management,

and the more conclusions we have on broader

aspects of our activities, the better our chances

to achieve fast growth, safely. Are we sufficiently

familiar with the characteristics of our current and

potential customers? Do we know what drove

them to contact us? Do we know the key points for

closing a deal? Such questions can be answered

on the basis of available information and proper

analysis in order to make business decisions.

The astonishing growth in the amount of informa-

tion and our access to it is changing the face of

the economy as we know it. There isn’t a single

economic sector that remained unaffected by

the way information becomes available to the

consumer, and we may say for certain that ev-

ery sector would continue and be affected by it.

Therefore, there isn’t a business which can ignore

this phenomenon, and as time will pass by, the

survivability of businesses would dependmainly

on the way they use information correctly.

The growth in the amount of information provides

new challenges for businesses and increases the

need for organizing the information to a level

enabling business conclusions. In the past, the

main challenge was collecting the information,

but today the main challenge is organizing the

accumulated information and drawing insights

from it. Most of the information that is being col-

lected today isn’t analyzed. The application of the

information, as a risk-mitigating growth driver, is

negligible, when compared to its potential. The

main reason for this is that we still don’t see an

organizational officer who collects the informa-

tion from the organization’s units and external

sources, and analyses all of the information in

a way that enables a view of the big picture.

Therefore, the most interesting question is how

information management would be integrated

into the business culture of the businesses.

A company’s growth would be determined by the

amount of managerial attention to information

and insights. I predict that in the next few years

we would see the development of a new executive

role, in every medium to large business, called

chief information officer. Discursively, this is the

broadest of all organizational roles – a chief infor-

mation officer requires a cross-organizational per-

spective and deep understanding of all aspects

of the business, in order to better understand

how to manage the collection of information and

proper its organization, as to enable efficient de-

cision making. The information officer would be

responsible for the data collection and cleansing,

and concentrating, managing and analyzing them

for decision-making processes for the existing

operations and growth drivers combined with

risk aspects. Such a position would enable the

development of methodologies for the manag-

ing intra-organizational and extra-organizational

information. Organizations need a senior person

who works to improve this major asset and man-

age it to meet all of the organization’s needs.

Such a position must possess the ability to lo-

cate and map information, act fast, make true

analyses, maintain complete and comprehensive

business knowledge and unlock hidden value

for the owners.

Most businesses consider information to be a

privilege, not a necessity. The world is spinning

faster nowadays, and the businesses who would

survive are those which will make fast and ef-

ficient use of information in order to make the

right decisions.

Photo: Kobby Kantor