Assignment: Knowledge is Information

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Assignment: Knowledge is Information

Assignment: Knowledge is Information

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Data Information Knowledge

Definition Simple observations of the state of the world

Data endowed with relevance and purpose

Information from the human mind (includes reflection, synthesis, context)

Characteristics • Easily structured • Easily captured on machines • Often quantified • Easily transferred • Mere facts

• Requires unit of analysis • Data that have been

processed • Human mediation

necessary

• Hard to structure • Difficult to capture on machines • Often tacit • Hard to transfer

Example Daily inventory report of all inventory items sent to the CEO of a large manufacturing company

Daily inventory report of items that are below economic order quantity levels sent to inventory manager

Inventory manager’s knowledge of which items need to be reordered in light of daily inventory report, anticipated labor strikes, and a flood in Brazil that affects the supply of a major component

6 Peter F. Drucker, “The Coming of the New Organization,” Harvard Business Review (January–February 1988), 45–53.

Top Management Middle Management Supervisory and Lower‐Level Management

Time Horizon Long: years Medium: weeks, months, years Short: day to day

Level of Detail Highly aggregated Less accurate More predictive

Summarized Integrated Often financial

Very detailed Very accurate Often nonfinancial

Source Primarily external Primarily internal with limited external

Internal

Decision Extremely judgmental Uses creativity and analytical skills

Relatively judgmental Heavily reliant on rules

FIGURE I-7 Information characteristics across hierarchical levels. Source: G. Adapted from Anthony Gorry and Michael S. Scott Morton, “A Framework for Management Information Systems,” Sloan Management Review 13, no. 1, 55–70.

cintro.indd 11 11/26/2015 7:38:30 PM
12 Introduction

information that is aggregated, externally oriented, and more subjective than supervisors require. The information needs of middle managers in terms of these characteristics fall between the needs of supervisors and of senior management. Because information needs vary across levels, a daily inventory report of a large manufacturing firm may serve as information for a low‐level inventory manager whereas the CEO would consider such a report to be merely data. The context in which the report is used must be considered in determining whether it is information.

Knowledge is information that is synthesized and contextualized to provide value. It is information with the most value. Knowledge consists of a mix of contextual information, values, experiences, and rules. For example, the mashup of locations and housing prices means one thing to a real estate agent, another thing to a potential buyer, and yet something else to an economist.

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