converting data to information

Subject: converting data to information
From: Nora von Gerichten <wlg -at- pacificcoast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 09:28:36 -0800

We convert data into information.
(corollary: we also sometimes convert a lack of data into information)

Getting data into information is like stopping before the finish line. Data needs to be turned into knowledge to be of any use. Your corollary of lack of data into information seems a bit off. Data cannot be pulled out of the sky but must be "unearthed", "found", all those nice archeological terms. I am one of those nasty people who red pencil projects because their data was pulled from the sky. As long as you use your corollary, you can not withstand any rigors of anything.

I work closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) on collaborative telemed projects in SA and Africa. I like the simplicity and elegance of their idea of turning data into knowledge. There is a nice graphic that goes with it and good text, albeit in a medical context.

Data in context is information and information in context is knowledge.

"We turn the radio static of information overload into (usually visual) music for specified audiences."

This analogy needs more work to be rigorous. As is, it is poetry.

"We decipher and convey complex concepts into more easily comprehensible packaging."

What does this have to do with the price of tea in China? You need a transition from your "data to info" model. This statement appears at first to be going from knowledge to data. Suggest you explore some of the literature on tech transfer. Tech transfer is, in part, the social acceptance of the technology, otherwise it is not sustainable. You have necessary but not sufficient components to your presentation.

Don't mean to be harsh, just happened to have my red pencil in hand.


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