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Element 1: Locate Relevant Information

Resources available are a significant matter when looking at information processing. With unlimited resources, you would be able to collect all the information you could possibly imagine, and this could be used to make the most effective decision possible. However in the real world there are limits to what we can do. Budgets, time, and expertise constrain our ability to gather the best information. Whether we like it or not, the accountant will play an important role in our ability to provide the right information. Before you begin the process, it is important to determine the amount of money that you are able to utilise on the project. This will affect spending in terms of your time, the types of information you gather, and expertise you are able to bring in. Let’s look at the three major resource constraints that may be placed on us by budgets:

1. Scope: We mentioned scope previously. Essentially scope is how wide your information will be. Will it only cover a single facet of the topic, or will you attempt to cover a much broader range. While the initial proposal you are given will state the scope of the study that is desired, the actual budget that you are provided may dictate whether this scope is feasible or not. If the budget provided is not high enough, you may find that you can not conduct the data collection and information processing as widely as you would have hoped.

2. Time: Time is money in business, and your provided budget will have a significant effect on the time you can put into a given project. The wider the project is, the more primary resource sources you use, the more time it is going to take. The time that you can put into the project will be affected by the money that you receive to do it. If only a small amount of money is received, you will not be able to spend as long on the project as you could if a large amount of money is received.

3. Expertise: Expertise is likely to be related to the effects of your budget. Essentially the less money you have, the less you are able to hire experts to assist you. For example you may not be able to hire consultants to help you put together and run a survey program if you do not have enough money, so you may be forced to conduct the program yourself. You may not have the expertise to run this program as well as a market research house, and so the information provided may not be as accurate as could be done.

Knowing what information to find can stop you from becoming overwhelmed by the amount of information present in an organisation. Information for management decision making can come from two different sources. The information can be generated from internal or external sources. Put simply, information sources internal to the organisation come from inside the boundaries of the organisation. It comes from its staff, and the information systems in use within the organisation. External information sources come from outside the immediate organisation. They may be from industry, government, from suppliers, or other general sources. Each of these information sources has their own merits and disadvantages. When looking at your information project, it is important to determine exactly what sources of information you should use. In this section we will examine the two major forms of data, and then discuss how to select the most appropriate data and information sources for your needs.

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Trainer Manual BSBFLM306A Provide Workplace Information and Resourcing Plans Š Precision Group (Australia) Pty Ltd


Element 1: Locate Relevant Information

The data sources that you use should maximise the value that you are getting from them. Some data sources can be extremely expensive to source, for example subscriptions to news cutting services can run into hundreds or thousands of dollars a year, as can other sources such as employing a market or commercial research house. It is therefore important to ensure that the money that you will spend utilising a service will be paid back by the information you receive. For example if you are only likely to use the service once for a minor piece of data, paying thousands of dollars for it is likely to be frowned on. However if it is a source you will refer back to over and over again, the reverse is likely to be true. In previous sections, we have looked at how to gather information and where to look for it. However what we have not done up until this stage is look at the methods for recording the information itself and methods used to ensure that the information is available when it is required. In this section we will begin by examining the need for recording information, and different methods you may use to accomplish this. We will then move on and look at methods used to store and record information in terms of how well they keep the information intact and protected.

Recording Information All information that you gather must be recorded in such a way that it ensures that the information is accurate, and stored for ready access and retrieval.

Accuracy Information is only useful to managers if it is accurate. Having inaccurate information is often worse than having no information at all. Therefore it is extremely important that you record information in such a way that its accuracy and security can be assured. Data should be checked and double checked if entered on to a computer, as the old sayings goes ‘garbage in garbage out’. If the information is not accurately recorded or entered then the resulting analysis that you or others conduct is likely to be garbage.

Storage Ensure that you file all information that you gather away in a manner that will allow it to be easily found as required. This may be in a special file for information for a given project. Using a list of references (as we described in the previous section) is an excellent way of listing what is in each file. Attach the list of references to the front of the file, and place information into the file in that order. This will enable you to locate and use the information quickly and easily.

Collecting the right data is crucial to being able to provide useful and meaningful information to management.

Trainer Manual BSBFLM306A Provide Workplace Information and Resourcing Plans Š Precision Group (Australia) Pty Ltd

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BSBFLM306C - Provide Workplace Information and Resourcing Plans.  

This unit of competency is about being able to provide workplace information and resourcing plans within your organisation. It will help you...