What Is the Difference Between Data, Information and Knowledge?

Topics: Data, Information, Knowledge Pages: 3 (1003 words) Published: August 10, 2013
What is the difference between Data, Information and Knowledge? Data, information and knowledge are often referred to and used to represent the same thing. However, each term has its own meaning. By defining what data, information and knowledge mean individually, a greater understanding can be reached. It is also important to look at how they interact with each other. Knowledge, by definition, is the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It is the acquisition of information through education or experience. In simple terms, knowledge is ‘what we know’. It is the information that we have retained in our brain. For example, in everyday life it could be how we like to eat our cereal or the fastest way home after work; or in the world of business, it could be knowledge of market and when and where products sell best. A toy company for example, know that in the run up to Christmas they will sell more toys than any other time of the year. This knowledge that the company will have attained from sales figures, in this case is the data, compared with other sales figures from other times time of the year. The brain is the only place that knowledge can be stored. Knowledge is put together in the brain as it links together data and information. At present, there is no form of technology that can retain knowledge as technology cannot link information and data. Knowledge is personal. Moreover, another example would be a company selling products like garden furniture and barbecues. The company would have the information that their products sell best in warmer weather but only the management or personal would be fit to make the decision when the weather is warm and they should promote their products further. This is the true power of knowledge as it helps companies produce goods and services, solve problems, and exploit opportunities. The concept of knowledge as power is based on the idea that management and employees that possess information which is essential...
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