In Information Management, we been thought about the relation between data, information, knowledge and wisdom, most of us, maybe who doesn’t familiar with the information management courses or principle, they can’t differentiate between data, information, knowledge and wisdom. Even these four components relate to each other’s, but it barely has lots of differences between them. In this article, we will go through each one of the component that finally will eventually make up together as wisdom that been use by us in our daily basis. There are widely research and philosophy around the concept of relationship between data, information, knowledge and wisdom. These components are the basis in our human mind when we learn, asking and do things. Gradually it will help us in doing our daily experiences. According to Dr. Russel L. Ackoff, an American theorist, adviser, and Anheuser-Busch Professor Emeritus of Management Science at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, he also was a pioneer in the field of processes research, systems philosophy and management science stated that the content of human mind can be categorized into four parts, they are:
Data: it can be described or been given example such as symbols.
Information: data that are processed to be useful.
Knowledge: application of data and information.
Wisdom: the better understanding about thing that been created with the knowledge that we obtained.
Ackoff also specifies that the first three parts is related to the past; it deals with what has been or what is known. Only the fourth part, wisdom, contributes with the future since it includes vision and design. With wisdom, people can create the prospect, fairly than just hold the present and past. But obtaining wisdom not easy; people must go through the three parts. As an example, we doing a mathematical solving, the data that been represent by number such as 1, then the next is information, it can be describes in a simple equation like 1+1. This is information that we get, one plus one is the information that we know now, then the addition of one plus one will become two, like in this example 1+1=2, so two is the knowledge that we get from the addition of 1+1, thus wisdom is the better understanding of knowledge that we get, something that normal people will quickly know, the answer for 1+1 is 2, these will be wisdom for all the learner that learn these simple equation example.
This is where we will deeply go on brief explanation about each of the four components. The first component is Data. In Oxford Dictionaries, data is philosophy things known or assumed as facts, making the basis of reasoning or calculation. The word data is from the Latin word of Datum, in the mid-17th century (as a term in philosophy). From the explanation that been derived from experts, data is a sequences of symbols that we can interpreted as a message. Data also is a collection of facts on something that we know, such as in term of numbers, sound, symbols and others it also can be said as facts, statistics used for reference or analysis. We can obtain data with every mean of events such as via surveys, from the objects, symbols, and also from hearing about something that related to the things that we know. These are data without we even noticed it. In information studies data is raw. It simply exists and has no significance beyond its existence (in and of itself). It can exist in any form, usable or not. It does not have meaning of itself.
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The next component is the information, as we all know from what we learn from information studies (information management), information is the collection of data that can make up into something that we can understand better or more deeply from data. According to Dr. Russel L. Achoff, information is data that has been given sense by way of interpersonal linking. This “meaning” can be useful, but does not have to be. In computer dialect, a interpersonal database makes information from the data stowed within it. If we can make easy example as to make people understand better, the alphabets or data is H.O.U.S.E, when we have all the data in term of those alphabets and combined them into one word, we will get the word ‘house’ from those five alphabets or in other terms the five data. So, when our mind had been connected between data and information, we will get the information from those alphabets. And we will imagine a house, simple house like usually we seen all days.
The third component is knowledge; knowledge is the right collection of information, it is in the other term, the collection of data that we conclude together as information, then from the better understanding of those information it will become knowledge, an upgrade version of information, with knowledge we can know the thing that we do regularly in our daily basis, such as in the first introduction example about the simple equation 1+1=2, we with the logic thinking will know that 1+1 will make and become 2 and there will be no other answer from 2. This is the knowledge we get from the information and data that we produce and combined together, 1 is the data and 1+1 is the information then the answer 2 is the knowledge that we get from learning the equation logic and adding ratio.
The last component in the relationship between data, information, and knowledge is the wisdom. Wisdom can be said as not only understand the information, it is the higher degree of knowledge and its mean the understanding about the concept of those knowledge, its mean is wisdom is the better knowing about the subject that had been research by anyone that have knowledge about the things they already know. Example is raining, raining is the knowledge that we know by the looks of water that pour down from the sky, but wisdom is thinking beyond it, we know when raining if we go through the rain, we can get fever, our cloths will get wet, this is the wisdom that we get from the deep knowledge about the rain based on our former experiences. This is the wisdom, the once that beyond the knowledge can offer to us. That is higher degree of understanding of particular subject and having more degree of knowledge about them that will gradually become wisdom.
As a conclusion, these four components are the phase in the degree of information principle. They relate with each other’s and without one of them, the information that are good to use can be created. Thus this is the phase that is differentiating the general information into more specific information that can be said as wisdom. They are related with each other’s, so when try to understand the phase, and even missing one phase or stage can’t be ignored by the researchers. From data, it will become information, gradually it will become knowledge to us and then finally it will become wisdom once that fully understand the subject and then those wisdom will be use by us in our daily basis.
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