The indications of the obsession with technology are everywhere. Companiesand consumers spent several billion dollars a year on IT. About half of the capitalexpenditures in the US go to IT.
Information Systems (IS) departments incorporations focus very nearly exclusively on acquiring, connecting andmaintaining computer hardware, software and communication networks.What is the aftermath of this obsession? The return on their investment isdepressingly unsatisfactory. Even the most rigorous economists have difficultiesin finding correlations between IT spending and yield, profits, growth, revenues orany other measure of financial benefit. Surveys of several managers suggest thatthey feel the information they get today is no better and consistent than it ever was.
Since companies have many technological solutions, they tend to drift towardsthe form of information that is most easily addressed with it – that is highlystructured transaction data. Companies gather automated data on almost everyaspect of their operational activities and new enterprise systems are particularlyeffective at processing and gathering structured transaction data. However, thisstructure data cannot be considered as information and or is rarely transformed intoinformation and knowledge.The transformation of data into something much constructive requires substantialhuman consideration with concentration and intelligence but most companiesview the issue only in technological provisions.
Terminologies such as data,information, knowledge and intelligence also often generate legitimate scepticism.For example, these terminologies are recurrently used loosely and as though theyare interchangeable. Figure 2.1 illustrates the possible association between data,information, knowledge and intelligence.
Whatever the detailed explanations, they represent a spectrum ranging fromsingle facts, numbers, signals about human events and activities, through moreorganized and meaningful concepts. These concepts contain facts, relevance andpurpose or human interpretation and contextualisation of data in a given context(information), to concepts that comprise real reasoning. This reasoning allows newinformation to be generated.
It can only reside in one’s mind and is the result ofhuman experience and reflection. The reasoning is based on a set of beliefs that areat the same time individual and collective (knowledge) and lastly, intelligence as amore active component than data, information, or knowledge.It is the application of knowledge expressed in principles to arrive at prudent,sagacious decisions about conflicting situations or in simple terms as the ability tounderstand and to apply knowledge. In