Mr. Michael Ahenkorah-Marfo

Deputy Librarian

Dept: Library
Prempeh II Library, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

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Research Areas/Interests

Knowledge Or Information - the Thin Line

The concepts of knowledge and information can be discussed starting with the basic definitions of the two terms. Basically, information can be defined as organized data or data endowed with relevance and purpose while knowledge can be deemed as communicated information. The definition of information suggests human participation in a purposeful organization of raw data. Defining knowledge is much more complex than defining information. Knowledge as a mix of fluid experiences, values and intuition, leading to the fact that knowledge is information that has been worked on to become more valuable.

The discussion of the concepts of information and knowledge may not be complete without the DIKW pyramid, which is a hierarchical representation of a continuum of data, information, knowledge and wisdom.

There is a little confusion between the concepts of information and knowledge. This is due to the fact that the difference is thin - indicating similarities between the two. For example, information has been found to emerge from raw data and knowledge from organized data. Thus knowledge and information both have data as an essential component.

Whereas knowledge is retained in one’s head, information is shared and can be found anywhere. Information is communicated as knowledge of facts and knowledge is processed information, a coded fact that can be stored, retrieved, and transferred. From the foregoing argument, information and knowledge are considered to be of same kind, with the latter being considered a more developed form of the former. Both are born out of close continuous interrelation of data. In other words, information is the stock of the existing known, while knowledge is the flow of the new and ever expanding areas of the known.

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