Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

3 anni fa · 3 min. di lettura · visibility 0 ·

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Data, Information, Knowledge, and Beyond

Data, Information, Knowledge, and Beyond


In our data- and information-driven world, it makes sense to wonder what the difference between these two is and how they relate to other relevant concepts, such as knowledge and know-how. After all, many people in Data Science, for example, talk about turning data into actionable insights or useful information, so there must be a link between the two. Also, many managers and business people in general gather information and derive knowledge about their domain, of find actionable tid-bits of information based on the experience they’ve gathered, something sometimes referred to as know-how.

Data can be viewed as the most rudimentary form of all this. It is the 1s and 0s that a computer or a smart device stores in its memory and crunches in order to create all this enticing pixels on its screen. Data is what we as data scientists analyze and apply models to, in order to create insightful visuals and predictive models that add value to an organization, be it beBee or a retail company. Data is often noisy and requires a lot of work in order to be made into something useful or even comprehensive. If you look at the data a web server gathers, for example, you won’t be able to understand much, unless you are a seasoned professional in web analytics and even then, you’ll need to make some plots in order to make sense of it. That’s when data gradually morphs into a higher state called information.

Information is data that we can reason with and act upon. It is a more refined form of data that not only applies to computers but to people too. When we read a post on beBee chances are that it is a form of information (something that cannot be said about all the random stuff you find on LinkedIn, for example). Yet, information is not always something you’d choose to write down and keep for future generations (unless it’s some article by Ali Anani, or something!). When information becomes more timeless and applicable in a more generation scope, then it is something else, something we often refer to as knowledge.

Knowledge is generally the refined information we read in a scientific book, an encyclopedia, or derive from an old story passed on to us by the previous generations. It is insightful and oftentimes applicable, in various aspects of our lives. Knowledge is what makes books sell and someone evolve into an author. Everyone can write some ramblings on a blog or on Twitter, but this doesn’t make him or her an author. If these writings pass certain quality checks, are refined, and are found to be useful to a large enough audience (even if that audience is not the majority of the people involved in the subject you write about), then they get published and you are considered an author. Same goes with other material, since knowledge takes various form through all sorts of media. But it’s only when it is assimilated that it really gains momentum and can make changes to the environment. That’s when it evolves into know-how.

Know-how is refined knowledge that is applicable to a particular field or in life in general (we’ll get to the latter later on). It is what differentiates a leader from a leadership enthusiast. The former acts without having to think too much because (s)he knows what he needs to do and feels it too. The latter has a more superficial relationship with the craft and although he could evolve into a leader, (s)he is not there yet. Know-how is what makes a professional fetch fat checks for the projects (s)he undertakes. Know-how cannot be transferred directly though since it requires a certain amount of effort. That’s what hands-on universities are for (universities that have practical classes or labs in their curriculum) as well as trade schools. You can’t obtain know-how from a book, though you may get the seeds of it that you can transform into full-blown know-how through practice, mistakes, learning from these mistakes, and some more practice.

So, is there anything beyond these four? Some would argue that if the know-how you have is applicable to life in general and has a more timeless scope, then it can be differentiated to conventional know-how and become something else. This is referred to as wisdom and it’s the stuff that those few great individuals share with humanity through Art, Science, and other aspects of culture and civilization. However, it’s not the mental aspect of all this that makes someone wise, but rather the mindful application of this know-how, through work and service. Otherwise he is just a wise guy who uses this pseudo-wisdom to impress others through some philosophy book or something! The key difference between a truly wise person and someone who just poses as wise is inspiration. Does this person inspire others to become better as professionals and individuals in general? If the answer is yes, then this person is more likely conveying wisdom rather than some other form of knowledge or know-how.

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Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

3 anni fa #3

knowledge is being gained from an exercise utterly different from the reflections we receive and usually the reflections are all virtual, having sheer contrast with our reflections. nature always appears as reverse to what we observe. so, knowledge is not ones perception and an individual have nothing to do apart from interpreting his own expressions. an exclusive experimentation only enable to draw an inference and since time immemorial people having a tendency to explore the world in and around them only to ensure the process of progress and always it carries a quality utterly different from what one may presume at his earliest assumption. always a changing phenomenon where none can go back to its former state. once one may accustomed with the changed version he have nothing to do apart from advancing more as far the changed version may direct. however, nice insight Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris! enjoyed read. thank you for the share.

Neil Smith

Neil Smith

3 anni fa #2

We are surrounded by an incredible amount of data about many aspects of life and the world around us. Some is easy to gather some less so. The raw data often is useless without analysis and that requires subject knowledge. The latter is harder to come by but plenty of people make the effort. What to do with the analysis of the data using the acquired knowledge though requires wisdom and that is a much rarer commodity. A veritable unicorn of a talent. A lot of people who would claim to be wise are simply equating local "Know how" with a global ability they don't possess. I completely agree with you that those who inspire others to journey farther are wise indeed.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris writes eloquently in this buzz "Know-how is refined knowledge that is applicable to a particular field or in life in general (we’ll get to the latter later on). It is what differentiates a leader from a leadership enthusiast". A mostly forgotten trait of an authentic leader

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