Information. Everywhere.

There’s no question that we live in exciting times, but it’s hard to feel the excitement when our lives are moving at mach speed. Every day in the workplace we’re bombarded with information – sales figures, growth projections, monthly targets, and the list goes on. And let’s not forget all of the information we’re consuming as part of our increasing social connectedness to the world around us. We live in a time where information is power – but only to the extent that we can harness it. Thanks to the tools and platforms gifted to us by technology, we are now able to prioritize, conceptualize, and digest the information that matters most.

Between our social feeds, data feeds, and feeding the kids, we rely on technology to help us stay afloat in the vast ocean of information that exists out there. In order to be successful in life – both inside and outside of work – it’s critical that we’re able to filter out the good sense from the nonsense and allow information to empower our continued personal growth.

When we consider the challenge of information gathering and analysis, we find 3 types of people who have found a way to successfully turn the information age into the golden age.

The Creator

The creator sits atop the information food chain because they create, collect and disseminate information that we consume on a regular basis. The creator is the person who makes a living by generating information and insights that are then deployed to the masses. Some examples of knowledge creators are economists, journalists, authors, professors, researchers, etc. Even some of the most influential thought-leaders on twitter can be categorized into this group. By creating and curating useful knowledge, creators have become the influencers that directly impact the information age.

The Employer

The employer is someone with the means to employ those around them to source, analyze and make sense of the information that they rely on. For example, let’s take Warren Buffett.

Before making his first billion, Warren Buffett had to rely on his ability to be an innovator (see below) to form his legacy.

But now that he has extensive resources at his disposal, he is able to employ a mastermind contingent that guides his every move.

But aside from the super-successful like Buffett, there are many other types of employers that are able to flourish in the information age. Consider the company that employs you, the President of the United States, or even Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Workweek and outsourcing guru). These people and organizations understand that information is the lifeblood to their success and rely on brilliant teams to excel.

But what if you’re not a creator, and you don’t have the resources to be an employer – then where exactly do you fall on the spectrum of information hunters and gatherers?

The Innovator

The innovator is the person who thinks about the bigger picture and strays away from thinking in silos. The wealth of data and information out there isn’t daunting to the innovator, it’s exciting. Innovators understand how to thrive in the 21st century and take advantage of the tools that can make their lives easier. Innovators are continually learning new methods and trying new tools to help them better navigate information and automate repetitive tasks wherever possible. The innovator understands how the puzzle pieces connect – recognizing that information is power but only if you know how to manage it.

A perfect example of an innovator is a company like SalesLoft. SalesLoft recognized that the most important asset to any sales team is qualified leads. They also understood that LinkedIn has some of the most up-to-date intelligence when it comes to employment information, and that Google indexes this information for its search engine. Knowing this, the SalesLoft founders were able to create a unique SaaS solution which collects publicly available LinkedIn data and cross-references it with email and phone number data to create a substantial database of high quality leads. This is a perfect example of the innovator mentality – harnessing tools and platforms to collect ubiquitous information and make it useful.

Where Do You Stand?

You don’t have to fit into just one of the three boxes above. Some of the most successful people (and companies) are actually hybrids of each group as they understand how each proficiency can help them achieve their goals. Thankfully we live in a day and age where there is no shortage of systems, tools and platforms to help you navigate the information age successfully. Whether it’s social information or sales metrics, there’s a wide array of solutions out there to help you make the most of the digital age.

If you rely on retail information and insights to do your job, why not book a free demo of Askuity’s analytics solution to help transform your retail data into actionable insights.