In my library there is a book called Knowledge is Beautiful and in there you have pages and pages of data. All presented in a beautiful way, very nicely illustrated. Some are dashboards, some are mind-maps and some are bubble graphs. They all look pretty and some just spectacular. Still the title of the book has it all wrong, what you see on the pages are plain data – beautifully presented, no doubt – but this is not knowledge.
The distinction has to be made – data in its purest form is just that: data.
Now when you select data to work with them – that’s your information. So you start to interpret this information and by that you build knowledge. In other words, knowledge is the interpretation of the information you received from your data.
This knowledge enables you to get insights and understanding, which forms your wisdom. And out of your wisdom come your decisions. The conclusions you take from your insights.
Once you have your decision you can now get into action. Your decision in itself, doesn’t mean anything, you want to act on it, that’s what comes out of a decision. And finally your actions gives you the chance to receive feedback, in other words results.
With your results you can go back to your data, select a subset, interpret them again and eventually come to different decisions, actions and results.
So the order and sequence is:
Data – Information – Knowledge – Wisdom – Decision – Action and Results.
4 important steps
Your dashboards are showing data or if you will information, but not knowledge. That only comes from the interpretation of the data shown. It is done by yourself or by the viewer: the intelligence still sits in front of the keyboard.
From Data to Decision are four important steps.
You better make them right, because if you don’t have your dashboards in place, you are frustrated with an overwhelming amount of data, and that could easily lead to wrong decisions, which might cost you in reputation, time and money.
So if you want transparency and insights and if you want your business to grow, you need to make the steps from data to decisions in the right order.
Looking forward to hearing from your success.