Decision-makers’ information needs - Assessing information needs in strategic management and marketing: Case Outokumpu Oyj

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
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Information Systems Science
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The objective of this thesis is to create understanding about external business information needs of decision-makers and to compare and analyze differences in the information needs of strategic and sales and marketing decision-makers. Information needs are analyzed both in terms of themes and information characteristics. The research problem stems from the contemporary information environment of decision-makers: the information paradox of generally too much information and at the same time lack of relevant and useful information. To help solving this mismatch and to better understand what is the relevant information from decision-makers’ perspective it is necessary to drill down deeper into the information needs of decision-makers. The research aims to narrow the gap in understanding what is the relevant information from decision-makers’ perspective, and by this understanding to bring closer the decision-makers and the actors that provide information for them. The data in this study was collected by interviewing nine employees of the case company, Outokumpu Oyj. The employees were from two decision-making domains, namely strategy and sales and marketing. The main findings of this study suggest that clear thematic and characteristic distinctions were observable between the information needs of strategic and sales and marketing decision-makers. There were some clear thematic differences in the information needs while in terms of information characteristics differences were clear in some characteristics, but there were also characteristics in which no clear differences were observable. Acknowledging that decision-makers in different decision-making domains require different information, both in terms of information themes as well as information characteristics, is crucial for successful implementation of business intelligence process cycle, as information needs identification is one of the key phases of the cycle. Although the identification of information needs alone may not improve decisions, it is a prerequisite for the information management cycle to be effective as a whole.
business intelligence, business intelligence, knowledge management, tietämyksenhallinta, steel industry, terästeollisuus, strategy, strategia, marketing, markkinointi
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