Difference Between Strategic and Tactical Information (With Table)

Information can be otherwise described as a piece of data or knowledge shared or received, based on a particular fact or situation. A piece of information must always be accurate although the level of its importance varies, i.e. from being highly important to unnecessary at times.

A company’s management is solely built on its information system. It involves communication, planning, control, decision-making and execution. In order to make this more prominent, the information system is divided into three levels namely, Strategic, Tactical and Operational. These three levels are related to each other. Every single information that is being shared goes through these three levels in general.

Talking about the first two levels, i.e., Strategic information and Tactical information, both play an equally important role in an information system.

Strategic vs Tactical Information

The difference between Strategic and Tactical information is that strategic information deals with the “what” and “why” part of an information system that is related to a company’s to-do plans in the future. Whereas, tactical information relates to “how” the implementation of those plans is done.

Comparison Table Between Strategic and Tactical information

Parameter of ComparisonStrategicTactical
FunctionIt is needed for a long-term of planning and decision-making. Whereas, it helps in achieving short-term goals and profit.
Data typeAll types of inputs, may it be external or internal are considered. While it deals with the actions taken to implement the strategical information.
SignificanceHelpful in the formation of new policies and schemes Helpful in providing the information needed to work on the existing policies and schemes
FocusPrime focus is on the future in order to achieve new trends Focuses on already available opportunities and provides effective resources for those
UserUsers are mainly generalists.Users are specialists.
Data granularityHigh levels of details about the data are generally not needed. Higher levels of data granularity are required.
GoalMoving forward using new initiatives is the goal. Improving current operations is the goal.

What is Strategic Information?

A strategy is otherwise defined as a plan or decision made to accomplish a long-term aim. So the strategic information deals with the set-ups and plans made in an organization to achieve success or growth in future.

The concept of Strategic Information System (SIS) was originally introduced by Dr. Charles Wiseman, President of a Consultancy named “Competitive Applications”, in 1982-83.
A strategy require a lot of time and effort for its making and execution. These might deal with everything from getting promoted, to establishing a strong relationship with the audience. But to mention, strategies could not function without effective tactics.

There are mainly five components of a strategy, i.e., Plan, Ploy, Pattern, Position and Perspective. These components need to work at par with each other for the achievement of the required goal.
Challenges faced in strategic information systems sometimes reveal the internal issues in an organization. The tasks may become more complex and may require extremely good leadership and management to make the strategies successful.

What is Tactical Information?

A tactic is a concept based approach to achieving a short-term goal. This includes planning one or more specific tasks and working on them to improve the available opportunities or schemes.

The TIS or the Tactical Information System is more specifically known as the support system. It not only supports the decision-making process but also helps in developing the existing policies. Tactical information helps to accomplish the desired result if planned and executed at the right time.
Even the most effective, well-made strategy is useless if there are no thoughtful tactics built to achieve it. The flexibility and result-winning nature of tactics are what makes a strategy successful and in turn, helps to attain the ultimate goal.

Although tactical information management ensures a more efficient way of achieving success at the right time. Still, it has many challenges to face and it makes its way out of it by supporting huge numbers of data readers and writers and gaining the required amount of information from them at the required time.

Main Differences Between Strategic and Tactical information

  1. Strategic information is known as the “why” and “what” part of an organization, but tactical information deals with “how” the implementation takes place.
  2. Strategic information deals with a set of goals or plans made to achieve a long-term success, whereas, tactical information helps in the steps undertaken to work on the strategic information.
  3. Both external as well as internal inputs are considered in strategic information. But tactical information generally deals with actions taken.
  4. Strategic information helps in the formation of new policies, whereas tactical information works on making the existing policies better.
  5. In strategic, the prime focus is on the future, while in tactical, the focus is on the present needs.
  6. Mainly the generalists use strategic information. But tactical information is mostly made by the specialists.
  7. The data granularity of high level is not needed in a strategic system, while in tactical, there is a need for higher levels of data granularity.
  8. Strategic information aims at moving forward using new initiatives. But tactical information works on improving the available opportunities in order to accomplish the required goal.

Conclusion

For a uniform growth rate of any organization, both strategic and tactical information play a significant role. Both of these are very different from each other yet correlated. A balance between the strategies made and the tactics undertaken should be maintained for the accomplishment of the right goal at the right time. This balance needs not only researching and making plans for achieving the desired result but also adjusting and improving the edges so that more efficient and practical approaches for the same can be found.

Although distinct in nature, but strategies and tactics are complementary concepts. One is about earning a victory before the battle itself, while the other is about working on enhancing the weak points. Both have endless ways of thinking and are equally essential for achieving success in the end.

References

  1. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.65.9698
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=bTnJAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=info:4eZBl0h1DG8J:scholar.google.com/&ots=AvmE_D-jy6&sig=arleVfR28REOlyCDdxGlfhaRmTY&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
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