Wed, 01 May 2024 Feature Article

A Guide on How to Use the Smart Decision Toolkit for Research and Investigations Purposes

A Guide on How to Use the Smart Decision Toolkit for Research and Investigations Purposes

Information is everywhere but not every piece of information is TRUE.

In my book, The Smart Decision Handbook, I referred to information (data) as merely a collection of signs and symbols that you use for decision making in the execution of your duties and responsibilities be it at home, at school, at work or anywhere else.

I further added that the way how information is arranged, packaged, and transmitted determines how you interpret it, and the way how you interpret it determines the quality of decisions that you make and the action that you take.

Sources of information determine what you consider to be good or bad or what you consider to be right or wrong. They also determine what you choose to do and what you choose to ignore.

If you have wrong information about someone or something, you will make wrong decisions in that regard and subsequently, you will take the wrong action.

This is why there is a battle for the control and interpretation of information on either by governments, businesses, religions or even families. Those that are in charge of information in any society determine the reality of mankind.

It is therefore important to identify mechanisms that define and determine the type, quality, and quantity of information since people and their natural environment are always transmitting information that must be correctly interpreted.

A considerable amount of information which you come across has been intentionally contaminated by the unscrupulous in order to mischievously influence people’s decisions because they know that if you have the correct information you won’t succumb to their bait.

This is why several bad decisions on earth have been made by people who have good intentions and yet they used the wrong information to make critical and strategic decisions for themselves as well as on behalf of their families, friends, and organizations and even for the state.

Some people have been wrongly imprisoned because of false accusations and conned by smooth talkers who mastered the art feeding sugarcoated lies into the mouths of the gullible while companies have failed because of bad investment decisions made by excitable executives who did not use assurance services to verify information.

All the above-mentioned tragedies have thus created a need and a mandate for people and organizations to intensify effort in seeking correct information and to also provide correct information in their engagement with stakeholders towards transparency and accountability.

As such, research and investigations play a pivotal role in getting the correct information which can be used for decision-making be it for investment purposes or even in the courts of law, and thus there is a need to develop tools which helps in gathering all the pertinent details in life.

In my work as a communication consultant, I got convinced that if information is that important in influencing decision making and consequently the action taken, I must create a universal toolkit which helps people to ask the right questions in their search for the right information.

The curiosity and passion for gathering and disseminating credible information for decision-making resulted in me coming up with the Smart Decision Toolkit which acts a Dot-Connector when conducting investigations and research work.

Information which has been gathered through research and investigative work by the police, auditors and even journalists has helped to shape systems, policies, and procedures on how things are done across the world.

As such, the Smart Decision Toolkit helps these researchers, investigators, and decision makers with a mechanism to identify the link between things and people that may ordinarily look disconnected and yet these things subtly work together to influence the reality of individuals, organizations and even countries.

The Smart Decision Toolkit is premised on the Fundamental Congruence Checklist which is basically a set of ten questions that helps you to broadly or systematically process information about any subject in order for you to understand it better.

By answering the ten questions on the Fundamental Congruence Checklist, you will be able to open-mindedly identify and analyse critical information in your research and investigative work.

This checklist below is a multi-versatile resource which gives any subject complete and broader attention, and as such, it can be used to gauge the relevance, effectiveness, and impact of anything that may help you in your information gathering exercise:

1) What is this thing? Who is this person?

2) What does he/she/it do and how? — What are the key result areas or objectives and how are they accomplished?

3) Why does he/she/it do so? — Why are those the key result areas, objective, or purpose?

4) What happens if he/she/it does do not anything or does not perform as expected?

5) Where is this thing or person situated in the whole matrix — what position does he/she/it occupy?

6) Why is he/she/it situated there? — Why is he/she/it occupying that space?

7) What happens if he/she/it is completely removed, moved somewhere, misplaced or even altered?

8) Who is in charge of him/her/it and why? — Who makes he/she/it work as planned?

9) How is his/her/its effectiveness assessed? — How do I or other people know if he/she/it is effective or not?

10) What happens if he/she/it is effective or not — What are the related consequences?

When you don’t ask yourself these ten questions, you are most likely to miss the clue which can help you to crack the code or to remove the veil which may be blocking everyone else from seeing things and certain characters in the right way.

Since we use information for decision making, it means that the same information must be scanned for impurities before being used to determine the next move. This therefore brings us to Data Integrity Analysis (DIA).

I describe Data Integrity Analysis as the systemic and systematic analysis of the intention and authenticity of the source, the path taken and the changes in the quality and package of information along the path from the sender to the receiver.

A Data Integrity Analysis is done in order to make sure that the correct information is used for the correct purpose using the correct channel.

Without the use of mechanisms such as the Smart Decision Toolkit, it will be difficult for you to do a proper and effective Data Integrity Analysis.

For training and assistance on how to effectively use the Smart Decision Toolkit (Fundamental Congruence Checklist) for research and investigation purposes, contact Brian on — [email protected]

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Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024