I read this wonderful book called: “How to talk about books you haven’t read”, by Pierre Bayard (http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/books/bayardp.htm). Right on the first chapter the author exposes an interesting concept that we can apply to our field of work:
“… culture is above all a matter of orientation. Being cultivated is a matter not of having read any book in particular, but being able to find your bearings within books as a system, which requires you to know that they form a system and to be able to locate each element in relation to the others. The interior of the book is less important than its exterior, or if you prefer, the interior of the book is its exterior, since what counts in a book is the books alongside it.
It is, then, hardly important if a cultivated person hasn’t read a given book, for though he has no exact knowledge of its content, he may still know its location, or in other words how it is situated in relation to other books. This distinction between the content of a book and its location is fundamental, for it is this that allows those unintimidated by culture to speak without trouble on any subject.”
If we consider a book like an event, knowing its location in relation to other events (Correlation, trends) and knowing it’s exterior (the context in which the event occurred, patterns) is as important and sometimes more important than the content of the event itself and this knowledge is fundamental to support business decisions.