Data Information and Knowledge

1323 Words Oct 7th, 2012 6 Pages
Data, Information, and Knowledge – Interwoven
To explore the concepts of Data, Information, and Knowledge independently is to attempt building a large and complex puzzle with only a few pieces from the box. While the relationships between these concepts can be as elusive as finding their universal definitions, it is within these relationships that data, information, and knowledge are most meaningful. In the broadest sense, data exists in the form of unorganized and raw facts about the environment that are collected and stored. When this stored data is transformed and processed into something more meaningful and organized, it becomes information. Perhaps most importantly, is knowledge: the collective information stored in the minds of
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If participants in the decision making process share a foundation of specialized knowledge, they can reach a superior analysis of current data and information resulting in an appropriate solution. Common knowledge also allows for individuals and departments within the firm to collaborate and coordinate together on separate groups of data and information. Information technologies can be used to “synthesize, enhance, and expedite” (Alavi and Leidner, 2001) knowledge throughout the firm by codifying that knowledge as information. Knowledge is carried by IT through “organizational culture, policies, routines, documents, systems, and employees” (Alavi and Leidner, 2001), becoming common knowledge over time. With the resulting common knowledge base and protocols, firms as a whole can efficiently process new data and information into knowledge. This firm-wide integration of knowledge previously held by individuals streamlines the analysis of data into information for decision making and providing a competitive advantage.
The Knowledge Based Theory at Work
In 2009, E&J Gallo was looking to expand into a new sector of the wine market. They conducted in-depth market research to identify possible avenues in which they might successfully release a new product. Their research left them with multitudes of raw data about the current wine