The problem with information is that its value is determined not by the sender but by the receiver. Just as “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” so to “The Value of information is in the eye of the receiver.” What is of little value to one may be of great value to another.
There are a lot of good reasons for this. I’ve provided my initial thoughts on this at “Valuing Information.”
The two key drivers of Information Value are:
- What is the Intent of the receiver of the information?
- What is the source of the information?
What is the Intent of the receiver of the Information?
The key to all communication is “Intent.”
If my intent is not to go outside today, then information about the weather is of little value. However, if my intent today is to mow the lawn, then the weather becomes very valuable.
The same information has different value depending on the receivers intent.
What is the source of the information?
The key to valuing information is knowing the source of the information.
If I need information about the weather then I would value information from the weather channel differently than calling my friend and asking them.
The term that applies here is “transparency to the source.” The more I know about the source of the information the better I am able to value it.
I would value information about climate change more if it comes from a climate scientist than if it comes from someone with no climate science expertise.
Additionally, having “transparency” to the intent of the source is also an important element to determining the value of information. Lawyers are paid to represent their clients. Advertisers are paid to represent their clients. Any number of people presenting information have agenda’s that are more about promoting a particular paradigm than finding truth. Hence, knowing if someone is a paid spokesperson or not is important to valuing the information they present.
Meta Data – Transparency
This transparency is provided in the form of “meta data.”