In recent years, knowledge management has been the center of attention for many researchers. This paper strives to analyze the difference and importance of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. It also investigates whether knowledge and wisdom can be managed and in what ways (Bellinger, Castro & Mills, 2004).
Data is raw details and statistics, and may exist in any form, either usable or unusable. When it is processed to achieve meaning, we get information. This meaning may be useful in the context of the research but not necessarily. The purpose of knowledge is its usability. It is based on the data and information obtained in the initial steps. Wisdom, on the other hand, is processed and ever growing. It builds upon all the other three processes. It goes beyond the information provided and digs deeper through philosophical probing. Wisdom is especially useful during decision making (Stafford, 2001).
Every one of these attributes is important for the growth and success of a business. How they are applied in business is what determines whether the outcomes are impressive. Wisdom is however superior to all the others since it is built on all the other three. It also goes further and explores the depths that have not been explored before giving the business an advantage (Stafford, 2001).
Knowledge management can be defined as the process of distributing the knowledge capital of a corporation’s employees. Knowledge subsists in people and so for knowledge to be managed, it would require a lot of devotion on the part of personnel. Once information is obtained and transformed into a format that the person intended to use it can understand, it becomes more beneficial for the company and leads to higher productivity. The obstacles that stand in the way of knowledge management include; reluctance to share information for fear of lowering level of importance in the company, and finally, the lack of knowledge. Wisdom is a higher level of knowledge that can be managed most effectively through making it available to the employees by encouraging communication and through training (Bellinger, Castro & Mills, 2004).
In conclusion, while every one of these four aspects of information is
important, it becomes only important once it can be maximized and used by the
company. Knowledge management is the ability to share information and make it
available at more levels of the corporation. It is best done by assuring
employees of job security as personnel are in fear of sharing their knowledge.
Wisdom should be highly appreciated in any business setting as it is the
highest level of knowledge.
Bellinger, G., Castro D., Mills A. (2004). Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom. Data Systems. Available online at http://www.collectivewisdominitiative.org/papers/lloyd_wisdom.htm
Stafford S. P., (2001). Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom. Knowledge Management, Organisational Intelligence and Learning, and complexity Vol III Available at: http://www.www.eolss.net/sample-chapters/c15/e1-29-05-01.pdf
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