KnowledgeManagement

nigerianfortyfortManagement

Nov 6, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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WHITE PAPER

Knowledge Management

First Step


Convert Data into Information

Knowledge management is “the” topic of the day
-

except in dentistry that is. When you spend
time in other industries or other areas of health care, a great deal of intention and a
ttention is
being focused on “knowledge management.” Yet few dentists, provider networks or payers are
paying attention to this phenomenon. Might be a very costly mistake.

What is knowledge management and why is it important to dentistry? It would take a
lot more
than one newsletter to really explore this question, but I think this will be a good start.

There is clearly a rising reservoir of data. Those who understand how to tap into this growing
data reservoir will have a strategic advantage. How do you d
rill into this data reservoir? How do
you channel raw data into meaningful information? How do you convert this information into
knowledge? Well that’s what knowledge management is all about


converting data into
information into knowledge. And then apply
ing that knowledge wisely.

Let’s begin with some very fundamental distinctions. According to Bellinger, a leader in
knowledge management, a collection of data is not information. A collection of information is not
knowledge. A collection of knowledge is n
ot wisdom.
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According to Bellinger, and many others,
information, knowledge and wisdom are more than simple collections


they are more than the
sum of their parts.

Start with data. Data by itself is meaningless. A number comes in on your cell phone or be
eper


1.800.994.5206. Nothing else, just the number. What’s your response to this data? You
immediately search for a context, a relationship to make sense of the data. As soon as you add
a name, a relationship, that data changes into something more useful
. Each name resides
inside a context and that context defines the relationship
-

vendor, lender, customer, potential
customer, internal agent, etc.

Data requires space and time to have any meaning. If someone showed you the number “30”
and said that’s the

data, what would that mean to you? Nothing, when it stands alone. It has no
relationship to anything else. It has no context. When data is ‘out of context,’ when it doesn’t
have a relationship with anything else, data is meaningless.

The first step in mak
ing data useful is to understand that data is highly context dependent.
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Data
needs to be “related” in order to have any meaning. In our example, using the number 30, giving
it a context, gives the data meaning. If I say time, or inches, or light
-
years or
height, soon as I
create a context, the data has meaning. Data is totally context dependent.

Context gives relationships between the various pieces of data. But what this means is data
ultimately depends on the understanding of the person perceiving the d
ata.
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As Ken Wilber
strongly points out, whatever a person’s understanding of the data is, relies on the person’s
comprehension of the relationships that the person can discern. Information is quite simply an
understanding of the relationships between piec
es of data or between pieces of data and other
information.

But just understanding the relationship between the data does not provide a deeper
understanding for “why” the data is what it is. Just understanding the relationship between data
doesn’t give a b
etter understanding of how the data will change over time. Information is static
in time and linear in nature. So information is what it is


with a great dependence on context for
its meaning and with little implication for the future.
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Converting Informa
tion into Knowledge

Information doesn’t shift into knowledge until one can see a pattern within these relationships.
1, 3

A pattern delivers a kind of consistency, reproducibility, and completeness. A pattern is an
archetype. A pattern generates repeatabili
ty and predictability. A pattern is being able to
understand the relation to relationships.

When one is able to recognize and understand the pattern


and their implications


then the
information starts to become knowledge.

Patterns are much more univers
al. Patterns are much less context dependent. A pattern that
represents knowledge also provides a high level of reliability or predictability as to how the
pattern will evolve over time. Patterns are not static. Patterns give you access to the future.
4

As
a clinician, part of my job was to recognize patterns and base my treatment plan on the
likelihood of these patterns occurring; i.e. periodontal disease. If I didn’t treat this way, then a
particular disease would occur in a certain pattern. Patterns play
a critical role in businesses. As
a businessman and consultant, I need to recognize patterns and design my strategies, my key
result goals, my management directives, to upgrade an existing pattern, change the direction of
an existing pattern or create a ne
w pattern.

Managing Knowledge


Knowledge Management

In a business or organization, data represents facts or values of results. The relations between
data and other relations have the capacity to become information. Patterns of relations of data
and inform
ation and other patterns have the capacity to become knowledge.
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For the data or information to be of any utility, it must be understood. Understanding depends
on the person(s) able to discern the relations and patterns.
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So then, what is the value of
inf
ormation and knowledge and what does it mean to really manage it?

Without the ability to generate the perception by the people you lead and manage
-

the required
associations, the relationships, data has no power. It has no power because it cannot be
mutua
lly converted into information, nor mutually expanded into knowledge. It’s value lies in
people, not in its precision.
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If sales started at $100,000 per quarter and have been rising 20% per quarter for the last 4
quarters, you can be pretty confident that

sales will be $207,000 this quarter. You understand
the context, you understand the relationships, you knew what “rising 20% per quarter” means.
You can do the math. You can use the information.

But if I asked you, what are the revenues likely to be for 3
rd quarter in 2002, you would have to
say, “It depends.” You would say this because even though you have data and information, you
have no knowledge.

This is the mistake many people make


the ‘data trap.’ They forget that data doesn’t predict
trends. Dat
a doesn’t have the wherewithal to forecast. What predicts trends of data is the
activity that is responsible for the data.

What ‘divines’ patterns of the data is the activity responsible for the data


so I need information
about the competition, the marke
t, customer satisfaction, delivery capacity, current customer
utilization, and a whole host of other elements. When I amass enough data and information to
form a pattern


I understand how it works


I now have knowledge that would allow me to
reliably for
ecast revenues for 2002.

So what I mean by knowledge management is the capture, retention, and use of data for
imparting an understanding of how ‘pieces’ fit together


and how to convey them meaningfully
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to others. The better you know how to manage the kn
owledge, the better you and your people
can deal with today’s situations and effectively envision and create the future.

Without a clear distinction of knowledge management, without formal and informal structures of
knowledge management within your enterpr
ise, knowledge management will not be an available
resource


will be not be accessible

will not deliver “on
-
demand” access. Then each situation
will be addressed based only and always on what an individual or small group brings to the
situation. A very l
imited view, with very little knowledge


with continuously diminishing results.

It appears certain as we move from the industrial age to the information age, the value of
knowledge will continue to increase. Up to this time, knowledge has been the outcom
e of a few
individuals understanding the relationships of the various fields of data and being able to see
their patterns. That which is called “implicit knowledge.” But good knowledge management is
able to convert implicit knowledge to explicit knowledge
where it is readily accessible to the
entire company. What kind of knowledge do you think will produce a more effective organization


implicit knowledge, held by a few, or explicit knowledge, accessible and available to all?

-
Dr. Marc Cooper

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References
:

1

Knowledge Management
-
Emerging Perspectives

by Gene Bellinger, OutSights

2

A Brief History of Everything

by Ken Wilber (publisher


Shambhala)

3

Leadership and the New Science

by Margaret Wheately (publisher


Berrett
-
Koehler)

4

Surfing on the Edge of Cha
os
by Richard Pascal, Mark Millemnann and Linda Gioja (publisher
-

Crown Business)

5

Weaving Complexity and Business

by Roger Lewin and Birute Regine (publisher


Texere)