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Information and knowledge

Information and knowledge

The concepts of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom are accepted as basic in the theory of knowledge management, because they form an information hierarchical structure in which each level adds certain properties to the previous one.

The basis of this structure is the data to which the information adds context. Knowledge adds how it gives the mechanism of use, and wisdom shows when and formulates the conditions of use.

In the literature, they are known by the abbreviation DIKW (data, information, knowledge, wisdom).

Key in the theory of knowledge management are the concepts of fact, data, information, and knowledge.

What is the data?

Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom “(roughly in this form attributed to Gary Flake of Yahoo, and in older versions wisdom is understood)

The word fact has several different meanings in different areas of human activity, grouped around a common understanding of the fact as a “piece of truth.” In epistemology, a fact is an “affirmation” or “condition” under which an affirmation can be proven and recognized as true (or refuted and recognized as false) based on evidence (in the general case of other facts).

An affirmation that cannot be directly confirmed or refuted is called an “assumption” or “opinion.” In science, the fact is data confirmed by a scientific experiment that many can repeat and get the same result.

Ideally, this is a scientific observation made in such a way that it would be difficult to find another explanation for the data In informatics fact – this is a single meaning of the data created or used in a business process.

The data are presented in a formalized form of facts and ideas that can be transmitted and processed in the course of any information process. They have logically grouped information units that can be transmitted (transferred) between systems.

They are always a set of objective information, something specific, presented in a certain form (number, record, table).

Data processing

Data processing is reduced to the following main types:

Classification (selection) of data – for example, employees of a company can be classified by position, education, age, length of service in the company, production unit, work achievements (sales volume), etc.

Rearrangement (sorting) of the data – the staff can be arranged by the numbers of the employees in ascending order, in alphabetical order of their names, by productivity, etc.

Summarizing (combining) the data – for example, the salaries of individual employees can be combined and receive the funds for salary total for the company

Performing calculations (according to different formulas and algorithms) – for example, the hours worked by individual employees are multiplied by the hourly rate and their gross salaries are obtained.

Selection of data – for example, a sample can be made of employees who have 5 years of experience in the company and speak German, to find a suitable person for a position in a newly opened office.

What is the information?

Until the establishment of cybernetics as a new scientific paradigm, ie. For more than two millennia, information has been understood as information that people exchange with each other, but which is not necessarily reliable.

Change occurs only after the creation of a universal theory of the nature of information, potentially applicable to all aspects of the universe and all levels of matter; including the “socially organized”.

It is determined by the widespread acceptance of the theory of reflection, according to which the reflection is an information interaction or more precisely a process, as a result of which an informational reproduction of the properties of the reflected object is observed.

Thus philosophy gives one of the most precise definitions of “information”, which reads: “information is the reflection perceived by someone or something”.

It is adequate to the needs of the humanities because it allows information to be considered as an objective side of the processes in nature and assumes its specificity in various spheres of the real world – in inorganic nature, in living systems, and social processes.

The concept of information again attracted the attention of specialists in 1948, when two fundamental publications appeared: Norbert Wiener’s book (1894-1964) Cybernetics or Relationship Management in Living Things and Machines and Claude Shannon’s article (Claude Shannon 1916-) Mathematical theory of connections (communications).

Wiener’s work also published the only definition that did not provoke open objections in the scientific community: “Information is information, not matter and not energy.”

These authors and their followers raise the idea that information can be considered as something independent, prove that information is directly related to the processes of management and development, ensuring the sustainability and survival of any system.

The terms information and knowledge nowadays

Today, the term information has penetrated the terminology of almost all modern sciences and is recognized as a general scientific category.

However, it is among the most discussed, but so far, despite the many private scientific definitions, no definition satisfies everyone.

This is in all probability evidence of the inadequacy of each of them, but also a result of the fact that each non-standard view of it reveals a new, sometimes unexpected aspect and provokes a new way of thinking.

BVOP, for example, as a modern certification management organization, recommends that managers share knowledge among teams and the entire organization. Reference: “Sharing knowledge, Business Value-Oriented Principles”,

However, it is generally accepted that this is one of the primary, indefinable scientific concepts, and the representatives of various sciences put inconsistent content in it.

The difficulty in defining the concept of “information” stems from its essence as a philosophical category, as a result of which it is considered a property of all material objects and together with energy and matter is accepted as a basic attribute of matter.

This view was confirmed in 1968 when the Soviet mathematician AD Ursul published an interesting book called The Nature of Information. There he insists that information is a universal property of matter, from the simplest inorganic forms to human society.

Such a view presupposes that the universe has a universal information field, which acts as a universal form of connection, as a form of universal interaction, and thus to ensure the unity of the world.

In addition, he proposes a classification of information on various grounds and supports VA Polushkin, who differentiates information into “elementary”, “biological” and “logical”. In this scheme, elementary information is understood as information in inanimate nature, and logical information is equated with the modern concept of “social”.

On this basis, in the second half of the twentieth century, many other points of view were formed, among which one of the most interesting is the Functional concept of information, represented by the following two varieties: cybernetic, which states that information (information processes) exists in all self-governing (technical, biological, social) systems and an anthropocentric who assumes that information exists only in human society and human consciousness.

In the ’60s, according to the successful metaphor of Acad. AV Sokolov (1934-), a real epidemic of informatization began. Even Acad. Todor Pavlov (1890-1977), an interpreter of the theory of reflection, not without surprise notes: «Physiologists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, technologists, geneticists, linguists, aesthetes, pedagogues, and many others seek and find information in almost all organic, social and mental processes ».

But due to the lack of a generally accepted definition and the existence of many, often incompatible concepts, researchers are beginning to call information everything that resembles it.

At the same time, they do not discover it in the process of cognition, but in this way call already known properties or phenomena.

For example, various signaling systems become informational; the bibliographic description in an information model of the document, etc. In other words, the communication processes are most often called informational.

This fact has its logical explanation – in industrial society, the role and importance of mental labor are increasing, science is declared a productive force, and this leads to a significant increase in the primary documentary flow and the funds of the institutions that preserve it.

In this situation, the classic library and bibliographic methods of communication prove ineffective, and the communication crisis that occurs is interpreted as informational.

The scientific community, and then a public opinion, see an opportunity to overcome it in the creation of information services, which are organized in all highly developed countries.

In practice, these are systems that provide communication services to professionals, but always, due to the huge authority of the information approach, called information.

Today it is generally accepted that in different systems (technical, biological, etc.) the same flows of information circulate, that the same information can be stored in different physical media and transmitted through channels, infinitely different.

Placed in line with such categories as matter and energy, information has become an unusually broad concept and continues to be revealed more and more widely and deeply.

Depending on the field of knowledge in which the research is conducted, the term information receives many definitions, but we will focus only on social information.

The Informatics textbook gives the following definition: “The term information comes from the Latin word information, which means translation, exposition (of something new, unknown until now).”

The Dictionary of Foreign Words in some languages also emphasizes the Latin root, but translates as depicting, forming, and explaining: 1. A message that informs about a situation or an activity … 3.

Information about the world around us and the processes taking place in it, which are perceived by living organisms, cybernetic machines, and other information systems during work.

The famous Russian researcher Dmitry Yosifovich Blumenau states: of the members of society and able to change their level of knowledge about the outside world, ie to change the state of their thesauri ».

In the already classic book of AI Mikhailov, AI Chernykh, and RS Gilyarevsky, scientific information is defined by the concept of logical information, but there are also many different, popular definitions of this term.

The main types of information are formal (used in business decision-making, it is documented, obtained by standard procedures and rules, presented in standard form, has an objective nature, and is suitable for machining) and informal (has a subjective nature). , expresses opinions, impressions, views, judgments, rumors, etc., is not obtained in a documentary way and by rules, is not subject to algorithmization and machining).


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