Data into information and information into knowledge. What, exactly, does this mean to you? For the latest version, refer to this article. It’s interesting how much this comes up in everyday business conversation (and rarely in anything else outside of the business). But, I question how functional it is to our business use; more appropriately, what the heck does it even mean? Isn’t everything we say, do and present an effort to convey some sort of knowledge? Perhaps, but all ‘knowledge’ is not useful and all useful knowledge is not available.
This drive for knowledge can be traced all the way back to Plato and his ‘Justified True Belief’ theory. Even better, just read all about the ‘Allegory of the Cave.’ Aren’t we all just trying to break away from the illusion of knowledge?
At some point, we have to put our foot down and demand knowledge. We swim in the water of data and simply hope to make some sense of what’s swirling around us. Case in point: We are confused and need to use our common sense. We must augment our brains power to make order (in my view, THIS, is what knowledge is all about). How do we do that?
First, let’s play. Below, you’ll see a table of numbers. There are 4 datasets, each with x/y values. Take a few minutes to get to know it.
Okay. Done? What did you gather? Knowledge? Information?
Now, take that same set of information and visualize it.
Now we have order. We’ve made a tool to shape some future (or present) decision.