Data to Wisdom

The process from Data to wisdom according to Russell Ackoff, a systems theorist and professor of organizational change, the content of the human mind can be classified into five categories:


Wisdom is evaluated understanding, including philosophical and ethical probing. It depends on the previous four levels and is usually future orientated and it embodies an appreciation that much will remain unknown and unknowable.


Insight and Understanding, a synthesis of new knowledge and information, an appreciation of why things are the way they are and what would provide the highest leverage for intervention and whole system enhancement.


Knowledge requires the consideration of date and information in context to discover how things are working, information is assembled as narrative that enables meaning for those working in and on a system. Prediction based on experimentation if well designed leads to knowledge.


Information is data that has been processed to provide answers to who, what, where, when how and why questions. Information is data that has been given meaning by the making of relational connections, this meaning can be useful if correctly applied.


Data are mere symbols having no significance beyond their existence, sometimes they are useful. It has no meaning by itself, for instance a spreadsheet which has no explanation which may have duplicated or wrong data within it.


Employment and Social Media

With an ever growing number of social media users, the link between employment and social media is becoming stronger. There are many platforms available to us which enable us to post, share, like and connect with people all around the world. Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram to name a few, the list is endless.

That said, the content you display is more than likely going to be viewed by your employer, your colleagues or even both at some point, so be mindful on the type of things you choose to display.

Before we look into this further, let’s take a look at some of the statistics…


The numbers are astronomical.

Many of us have some kind of social media presence, in fact 2 thirds of all internet users have some form of online profile. The market leader is Facebook with nearly 1.5 Billion monthly users in the second quarter of 2015 alone, that’s 47% of all Internet users currently updating regular posts to Facebook.

If you are considering using social media to increase your chances of employment LinkedIn is probably the most effective form of social media to do it. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site allows users to connect with like-minded users and build a professional network. Opportunities are regularly advertised on here, simply follow the right people and search for your preferred sectors and professional bodies to begin networking. Linked in has approximately 365 million users, not quite as popular as its big brother Facebook, then again – how many people do you need to know to get one job?


So how is social media connected to employability?

Your online presence has become the much easier to access in recent years, the fact is, if you put it online, it’s there for the world to see.


Back in 2009 a University of California student posted the following tweet about an internship with a software giant.

“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty pay check against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”

Well, for those of you who didn’t know, it didn’t end well. A Cisco employee discovered the tweet, the offer was withdrawn and a publicity storm erupted. This incident was one of the first cases where a status update resulted in the loss of a job.



So is it legal for employers to examine your social media presence?


This is a loaded question and in short, yes and no. Measures have been put in place to protect both Employee and Employer. It is generally up to the Employer to enforce a social media policy that enables them to take action when an employee bad mouths their company online for example.

Many online activities, especially something like a Facebook post regarding wages or working conditions that is shared with co-workers, are forms of “concerted activity” that are sheltered under the law until it reaches the point of being “disloyal” to the employer. “Disloyal” can be complicated to define, but it differentiates between comments that are merely complaining about work from ones that actively seek to reduce business by driving customers away.


The bottom line is, respect the boundaries of social media. The legalities can be messy and avoiding a court case is advised. Our advice to you would be to only publish things that you wouldn’t mind your employer or future employer to see. After all prevention is the best cure.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is key when looking for a job, after all, first impressions count for a lot.

In recent weeks, I have attended several open days and interviews with a variety of candidates for a wide range of different jobs. Something that I have noticed and wanted to underline, is how many people lack attention to detail.

Regardless of the calibre of the role you apply for, whether it be a Receptionist role, or a higher paid job like a Business Development Manager, there will always be candidates that fail to realise the importance of the small yet vital details when trying to amaze your future boss or recruiter.

I once met a really great candidate for a Sales job, David was just what we were looking for on paper and even better in person. Prior to our meeting I asked him to bring with him a copy of his most up to date CV. Do you think he did? Well, he didn’t. These kind of things can generate negative reactions or lasting memories of you. Instead of remembering David for his enthusiastic approach and his persuasive persona, I will always remember him as the guy who forgot his CV.

You may have spent a week solid preparing for an interview, questioning yourself over and over, ironing your shirt the night before, practicing positive body language in the mirror, but all this can be crushed by a simple yet devastating mistake like David did.

Attention to detail is not just about remembering to do the little things, it can also be a great tool for standing out in the crowd. Paying attention to the facts and understanding the ins and outs of a job will impress any employer. Asking questions and mentioning certain duties on a job specification shows that you are engaged and have done your research.


Things not to forget!

If you are sending an email to a prospective employer or recruiter, you can’t say you have good attention to detail in your cover letter and then go on to forget to attach your CV, this happens all too often, DON’T DO IT!

Cross the T’s and dot the I’s… Your CV says a lot about you and your attention to detail. First impressions count! Read through your CV a few times paying attention to punctuation and spelling. Failing to correct any mistakes can suggest that you lack attention to detail.

Be prepared! Take a pen, a notepad and anything else you can think you might need in your interview. After all, looking unprepared and unorganised can be damaging. Good preparation is crucial to any interview.

Don’t forget their name!  If you know the name of your interviewer, please get it right. For example: if you are being interviewed by Jonathan King, don’t go to reception and ask for Jon King and certainly don’t call him Jonny boy when he greets you. Remain professional at all times. Use only the name you have been given. These details are all noted by employers.