Data Is More than Knowledge: Implications of the Reversed Knowledge Hierarchy for Knowledge Management and Organizational Memory

Ilkka Tuomi
1999 Journal of Management Information Systems  
In knowledge management literature it is often pointed out that it is important to distinguish between data, information and knowledge. The generally accepted view sees data as simple facts that become information as data is combined into meaningful structures, which subsequently become knowledge as meaningful information is put into a context and when it can be used to make predictions. This view sees data as a prerequisite for information, and information as a prerequisite for knowledge. In
more » ... is paper, I will explore the conceptual hierarchy of data, information and knowledge, showing that data emerges only after we have information, and that information emerges only after we already have knowledge. The reversed hierarchy of knowledge is shown to lead to a different approach in developing information systems that support knowledge management and organizational memory. It is also argued that this difference may have major implications for organizational flexibility and renewal.
doi:10.1080/07421222.1999.11518258 fatcat:o5dt5rbs2zgbpmfdpdsvg5y45u