Wednesday, July 13, 2011

MIT IQIS 2011: Data, Information, Knowledge

Lots of great stuff presented at MIT IQIS 2011 this week.  Stuff?  It seems that I’m no longer entitled to use the words data, information, and knowledge the ways civilians—the sorts of folks who wouldn’t attend MIT IQIS—might use those words. 

I admit, I’m repeating a theme from an earlier post.

Many conference attendees distinguish between raw data, minimally processed data, and thoroughly analyzed data. I’m down with that; those distinctions are legitimate and deserve our attention.  However, it seems that many of the attendees of MIT IQIS have appropriated some English words to express these distinctions.  I’ve heard the following: Raw data is called “data.”  Minimally processed data is called “information.”  Thoroughly analyzed data is called “knowledge.”

Reminder:  Civilians—even those who recognize the merits of the distinctions among data that is raw, minimally processed, and thoroughly analyzed—would not use the words data, information, and knowledge in this way.  An irony: A recurring theme of information quality is the need to secure business buy-in and support for IQ initiatives.  Hard to get the business to buy in to what you are proposing when you keep distorting the meanings of their perfectly good words.

No comments:

Post a Comment