I thought I would share this week a brief insight on a core concept in Knowledge management. KM field draws a clear line between data, information and knowledge.
Data can be compared to a set of facts which are directly observable.
Data are used as a raw material for generation of information - a message with meaning, which is transmitted as a physical document or in the process of communication. Information is stored in the books, databases and software programs and becomes knowledge only when it is accessed and processed by a human being.
Knowledge is a bridge between a person and information. It is richer and broader than information, but derives from it.
Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information (Davenport and Prusak)
Knowledge is a resource that flows freely, can be acquired, used and lost. Knowledge can be shared by many people and does not diminish while being used.
Unlike other resources, knowledge is always attached to someone: existence of knowledge depends on existence of someone who knows.
In Personal Knowledge Management field is not common to hear about categorization of data, information and knowledge. Probably because it is not as relevant as in case of organizational KM - where each of the 3 resources might be handled by a different person. However, it is important to keep in mind that everything we store i.e. links, web pages, pdf documents, articles etc. - is actually information. It does not become knowledge until we process it.
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