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Are You Suffering From Information Overload?

You have the data at your fingertips, so why is making business decisions so hard? It could be information overload.

This story appears in the February 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

David Anderson spends his days making one decision after another as co-founder of Off Madison Ave, a 9-year-old marketing communications firm with annual sales of $10 million. One looming decision concerns office space. The 12,000-square-foot space that Off Madison Ave leases in Tempe, Arizona, is cramped now that the company has 60 employees. "I have one empty seat before we're up on this challenge again, and I have three-and-a-half years left on our lease," says Anderson, 41. Who founded the business with Roger Hurni, 42.

It's a seemingly simple decision riddled with uncertainty. Should you rent or buy? How much extra space do you need? How do you make sure you don't pay too much? Anderson studies demographic data and the company's historical data for trends and growth spurts. He keeps tabs on regional economic trends and the local real estate market. Throw in the internet, and it's easy to keep researching . . . and researching. "It's extremely easy to get bogged down in the data," says Anderson.

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