What is information versus knowledge?

Module 1 this week included the Topic “What is information vs. knowledge?”  I decided to address my experience searching the internet for an answer to this question and thought I would share my results since it doesn’t appear we’ll be addressing the question on the discussion board this week.

I did not find a distinction between information and knowledge referenced in either of our texts, so using Safari as my web browser, I searched on the phrase “information versus knowledge”.  I ended up finding explanations not only for “information” and “knowledge”, but also for “data”.

The first “hit” was an article on the infogineering website (http://www.infogineering.net/data-information-knowledge.htm), “The Differences Between Data, Information and Knowledge” that I found mostly written in easy to understand terms.

Knowledge is defined as “what we know”.

Data is “facts”.

Information is defined a bit more nebulously, as allowing us to expand our knowledge beyond the range of our senses.  “We can capture data in information, then move it about so that other people can access it at different times.”

One interesting and in my opinion very relevant distinction was made between data and information.  Data is always correct, whereas information can be wrong.

I did not find the next seven (7) articles to be as helpful, but felt I hit pay dirt with the 9th article, found at http://www.slideshare.net/15934/knowledge-vs-information-14089674.  This link led to a 6 slide slideshow that defined information as “bits of facts that have been provided about something or someone” and knowledge as “something that we have acquired individually through experience and education that is useful to our lives.”

A slide from one of the PowerPoint presentations for module 1 depicted not only data, information, and knowledge, but wisdom:

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I asked someone at work today about the difference between data, information, and knowledge.  They didn’t realize there was a difference (or else never really thought about it!) until I started explaining what I learned from my searches.  Maybe I’ll be able to impart little tidbits of knowledge I continue to learn!

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