Data Information and Knowledge

What is the relationship between data information and knowledge? We will try to discuss this in the context of knowledge management program. A basic understanding of Data, information and knowledge helps in understanding of knowledge management system. Here we will try to explain all these with some simple examples.

Data:Data in its own way known as a collection of discrete objects, facts or events out of context. Data has no reference to space or time. In some advance way we can say collection of some objects or results of some process are known as data. It is also known as unprocessed information. Inside the spread sheet of excel in each cell we store data, on its own it does not give any information. When we store the sells figure of the company in a spread sheet we call it as data. We may do some categorization on the data to get meaning full output from it.

Information: The processed data is known as information. From a collection of data we can derive meaningful information (conclusion). We can't call it information if we are not getting any result (conclusion) out of our data. The sells figure stored in a spread sheet on its own can't give any conclusion but on observation or by statistical tools we can see that north region the sells are better than southern region. This is the information we get out of the sells data.


: After Data and information Knowledge is in the next stage of evolution. When we apply our experience, jurisdiction or judgment to the information we get knowledge. Knowledge is the result of learning. Knowledge is the internalization of information, data, and experience. In our sells data we can conclude that more marketing efforts or promotions are required in south than in north to improve the sells in southern region. Knowledge is divided into two types, tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge. Organization learning depends on knowledge creation process which is explained in SECI ( Socialization, Externalization, combination, Internalization) cycle.

Examples of Data, Information and Knowledge.

Blood pressure of a patient is known as Data. By checking the blood pressure of the patient we can say that the patient is having high blood pressure. This is information. Please note that we are able to conclude or get a meaningful conclusion from the blood pressure readings, so we call this information. The patient is having high blood pressure because of his family history. This conclusion is of reason of high blood pressure given by a doctor based on his experience and learning.

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