Information gathering helps the individual and the organization to undertake
complicated tasks that would otherwise be extremely hard to accomplish if
not out rightly impossible without the benefit of gathered information. As
defined in the dictionary, information gathering is the act of collecting
information from various sources through various means.
In the literal sense, information gathering is a basic human skill necessary for
undertaking basic human activities such as eating, sleeping, working etc. For in order to eat, one must know if the food is edible or not; and in order to
sleep, one must know if the sleeping place is comfortable or not.
As applied in the fields of business and other specialized organizations (scientific, military, academic) however, information gathering is an
advanced skill which requires the training and education of personnel in the
procedures and methods of gathering information from sources that are of
higher level than ordinary sources.
In the case of interviewing personalities
for example, a researcher usually gets to interview authorities and proper
officials, and thus, he must know the proper ways to address distinguished
personalities of the community and the society in general.
In general practice, information gathering is the collection of data for dealing
with the individual’s or the organization’s current situation. More data means
more and better ways of dealing with the current situation. More data
broadens the minds of those who will use the data to solve current
organizational problems. New ideas come more easily if there are lots of
facts to be used as bases.
There are two main types of sources in the field of information gathering,
namely: 📌Existing sources – existing sources are those sources of information
that can be found in the printed, in video, in audio and other materials
that are available to the public or upon request to proper bureaucracy. 📌Natural sources – natural sources are first hand sources such as those
who have tried products, services and methods, and expressing their
experience and opinions to the researcher.