Friday, 4 June 2010

The Knowledge Gratuity Index

I've come up with an index for the gratuitous use of the word knowledge, which you can use to analyse a definition or a document.

You count the number of times the words information, data, and knowledge are used, and exclude the title of the document, the name of the thing being described, or the word being defined. Then you look at the percentage of those words which are "information" or "data", as opposed to "knowledge".

Lets look at the definition I gave you in the Cats and Dogs post

"Knowledge management is a way of deliberate compilation, transfer, preservation and management of information within companies, in addition to systems designed to extract the most from that information. It refers specifically to utilities and methods made to preserve data and information held by individuals who make up the establishment. It is at once a software bazaar and a section of consultancy work related to fields such as competitive intelligence. A major point of knowledge management has to do with information that isn’t effortless to digitally codify, such as individual experiences.

So if we exclude the phrase being defined, we see four references to information, one to data, and none to knowledge. The gratuity index is 100% - all of the references are to data and information.

Or take a PowerPoint I read recently. The title of the Powerpoint was "knowledge and information management" and this title was repeated three times on three slides. "Information" was then mentioned 88 times in the PowerPoint, and "data" 60 times. Knowledge was not mentioned at all, except as part of the title. So the gratuity index is 100%, and the use of the word Knowledge in the title was 100% gratuitous.

Watch this video, and count the number of times they mention data, information and knowledge. I counted 5 references to "data", one to "information", and all references to "knowledge" were as part of the title. It's a great video and a fantastic piece of work - all credit to them - but why call it a knowledge base, if what it contains is information and data? It seems to me to be a 100% gratuitous use of the K-word.

see here to find out what is knowledge

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