What are Big Data and Knowledge Management? You may have heard the term “data” used before but you might not be sure what it means. In simple terms, big data is simply information — in large volume — which can be processed quickly and efficiently. Many believe this kind of data is already available to the private sector.
Knowledge management, on the other hand, is the process of acquiring, managing and preserving the knowledge in a way that helps the companies that need it most. Many think that there is a great divide between knowledge and data. While data may be vital to running a business, knowledge is something that can be accessed by the users and should be made available for them to benefit from. In this sense, data is simply information that can be processed. But in reality, knowledge is something more.
Knowledge consists of ideas, theories and facts that are acquired through research and expertise. They are collected, collated and organized in such a way that they are useful to different people, at different times, in different situations and with different needs. For example, doctors need information about medical conditions to help them treat patients. A doctor cannot give that same information to a research analyst without putting that person at risk of harm.
The challenge, however, is making information accessible and meaningful. Without the knowledge to interpret or apply the information, all the efforts of those who collect it will go to waste. So what is big data and knowledge management about, in the end? Simply put, the companies that collect, process, store and disseminate the huge amount of data will become better at their jobs, and the consumers who buy that data will also improve the quality of their lives.
How do companies gain access to all this important data? Many use the Internet for this purpose. Others use online databases, like those maintained by the Electronic Surveillance and Protection Center (EWPC), a division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Still others buy data directly from storage providers, such as Amazon’s Web Services.
The Internet and other technologies are making it easier than ever before for organizations to collect, analyze and distribute large volumes of data. Big data visualization tools are helping the companies analyze large quantities of data from a variety of sources and to visualize it in an easy-to-understand format. This allows quick visualisation of relationships between various elements in the data. This then allows knowledge workers to make inferences, draw conclusions and make critical analysis.
Knowledge workers will also benefit when big data becomes available to them as a practical knowledge product. This can be accessed via a Web browser, tablet computers and other portable devices. The advantage here is that these workers will not have to take their laptop with them every single time they need to look up or identify relevant data that may be relevant to their work. They will also be able to access this information wherever they are, for as long as they have an Internet connection and a computer with enough memory to hold all the information they want.
As we will see in the future, information and data are increasingly important to organizations both in their day-to-day activities and in the delivery of their mission. In fact, knowledge management is becoming an essential element of any company’s strategy. This is why it is so important for companies of all sizes to invest in the development and implementation of information and data management systems. They will reap the benefits long after the initial costs are recovered.