It is easy to get confused about information and knowledge. People often use the terms interchangeably, without knowing the fact that there are slight and subtle differences between information and knowledge. These two are important concepts of knowledge management system, wherein the former means processed data about someone or something, while the latter refers to useful information gained through learning and experience. So, take a look at the given article which might help you to understand the terms further.
Content: Information Vs Knowledge
|Basis for Comparison||Information||Knowledge|
|Meaning||When the facts obtained are systematically presented in a given context it is known as information.||Knowledge refers to the relevant and objective information gained through experience.|
|What is it?||Refined data||Useful information|
|Combination of||Data and context||Information, experience and intuition|
|Processing||Improves representation||Increases concisousness|
|Transfer||Easily transferable||Requires learning|
|Reproducibility||Can be reproduced.||Identical reproduction is not possible.|
|Prediction||Information alone is not sufficient to make predictions||Prediction is possible if one possess required knowledge.|
|One in other||All information need not be knowledge.||All knowledge is information.|
Definition of Information
The term ‘information’ is described as the structured, organised and processed data, presented within context, which makes it relevant and useful to the person who wants it. Data means raw facts and figures concerning people, places, or any other thing, which is expressed in the form of numbers, letters or symbols.
Information is the data which is transformed and classified into an intelligible form, which can be used in the process of decision making. In short, when data turn out to be meaningful after conversion, it is known as information. It is something that informs, in essence, it gives an answer to a particular question.
The main characteristics of information are accuracy, relevance, completeness and availability. It can be communicated in the form of content of a message or through observation and can be obtained from various sources such as newspaper, television, internet, people, books, and so on.
Definition of Knowledge
Knowledge means the familiarity and awareness of a person, place, events, ideas, issues, ways of doing things or anything else, which is gathered through learning, perceiving or discovering. It is the state of knowing something with cognizance through the understanding of concepts, study and experience.
In a nutshell, knowledge connotes the confident theoretical or practical understanding of an entity along with the capability of using it for a specific purpose. Combination of information, experience and intuition leads to knowledge which has the potential to draw inferences and develop insights, based on our experience and thus it can assist in decision making and taking actions.
Key Differences Between Information and Knowledge
The points given below are important, so far as the difference between information and knowledge is concerned:
- Information denotes the organised data about someone or something obtained through various sources such as newspaper, internet, television, discussions, etc. Knowledge refers to the awareness or understanding on the subject acquired from education or experience of a person.
- Information is nothing but the refined form of data, which is helpful to understand the meaning. On the other hand, knowledge is the relevant and objective information that helps in drawing conclusions.
- Data compiled in the meaningful context provides information. Conversely, when information is combined with experience and intuition, it results in knowledge.
- Processing improves the representation, thus ensures easy interpretation of the information. As against this, processing results in increased consciousness, thus enhances subject knowledge.
- Information brings on comprehension of the facts and figures. Unlike, knowledge which leads to the understanding of the subject.
- The transfer of information is easy through different means, i.e. verbal or non-verbal signals. Conversely, the transfer of knowledge is a bit difficult, because it requires learning on the part of the receiver.
- Information can be reproduced in low cost. However, exactly similar reproduction of knowledge is not possible because it is based on experiential or individual values, perceptions, etc.
- Information alone is not sufficient to make generalisation or predictions about someone or something. On the contrary, knowledge has the ability to predict or make inferences.
- Every information is not necessarily a knowledge, but all knowledge is an information.
To sum up, we can say that, information are the building blocks, but knowledge is the building. Processing of data results in information, which when further manipulated or processed becomes knowledge.
Suppose a person possess plethora of information about a particular subject, but this does not mean that he/she can make a judgement or draw inferences on the basis of the available information because to make a sound judgement, one should have ample experience and familiarity with the subject, which is possible through knowledge.