Knowledge vs. information

If you want to put your knowledge to action, knowledge management is the practice to go for!. But it is important to consider the difference between plain data and information and knowledge.

 

Thinking about knowledge, you may think about facts, scientific insight, simple familiarity with a given topic, or perhaps expertise? But how is that different from information or plain data? What makes knowledge, knowledge?

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First, let’s consider data. Data has truly become a buzzword, and is found at the center of privacy issues, business strategies, and battles of the titans. But in fact, data in isolation does not say much, You need context to understand the meaning and eventually to act on that meaning. When data is contextualized and interpreted, it is turned into information that informs on a general level as facts and insight, but still does not allow you to make informed decisions or meaningful action.

 

Knowledge on the other hand, is information put to action. That is, information that is interpreted and formulated within the context of use and which spurs the reader or recipient to do, to act. Knowledge contains know-how and experience and enables understanding, which is exactly why it is effective and powerful. And why sharing of knowledge is pursued on such a grand scale across organizations. 

However, ambitions of knowledge sharing often turn into sharing of information, where the context of use and action-oriented approach is left in the minds of the experienced employees. Thus, it is important to consider the implications of the various forms when working with knowledge management.