Information, knowledge, wisdom: organising data for insight

“Science is organised knowledge. Wisdom is organised life.”

Immanuel Kant

In firms, we generate, capture, store and organise huge amounts of information every day. We have invested capital in managing it (“information technology”) and employ whole departments to look after it. We spend a large amount of effort organising it. This is the science of our business – the organising of our knowledge.

So where is the wisdom?

“Without wisdom and insight, we are left to drift aimlessly and without purpose.”

Michio Kaku, “Physics of the future

The truth is, we have more information than we know what to do with, but we lack the tools and training to know what questions to ask of it. If we are able to analyse our information, we can find insight and purpose.

Hideously complex data visualisation.
Some data, yesterday. Any wisdom visible?

That should be the goal of people who work in information technology – not to act like a priestly class who alone can interpret the Delphic databases, but instead to evangelise the good news that, with appropriate training and software, any of us can combine, compare and comprehend what the data is telling us.

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