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Data, information, knowledge and knowledge management are different yet have meeting points. Data is the unrefined, none filtered or raw information that consists of discrete objective facts about events as structured transactions (Newell et. al, 2002). It is a basis of reasoning calculation and discussion that includes both relevant and irrelevant information. This can be transmitted digitally or processed to come up with meaningful information that is useful. All data is historical and tries to capture activities or real events as they occurred. Information, on the other hand, is the processed and filtered data that is ready for analysis and drawing a true picture. It is the data without absurdities that can be repackaged to a reusable state. This can be relayed in different forms like voice recordings, in pictures, graphic displays or in tabular form. It aims at assisting in making meaningful decisions, identifying opportunities and generating knowledge through a flow of beliefs.
Knowledge, however, is the recognition of something, ability of how to do it and understanding of why that thing lies in the mind of a person. It is the applied data or information through organized experiences or insights for it is action tied and, therefore, incorporates the principles acquired by mankind through association or experience. Its importance is to add value to our lives, be it in business or academics or whatsoever field it may be and assists us in functioning intelligently.
Knowledge management has no definite definition form the foundation of having knowledge lacking a universal definition. However, different writers have come up with different definitions of KM. Robert s. Seiner wrote that KM is a concept in which an organization gathers, organizes shares and analyses peoples' and group's knowledge across the organization in a way that affects performance. Meridith Levinson (2010) defined KM as the process through which organizations generate knowledge from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets. Dr. Carl Sveiby said that it comprises of identifying and analyzing available and required knowledge property and processes so as to fulfill organizational objectives whereas Robert Villegas highlighted that it is transferring knowledge from one individual to another, in effect, it enables recipients to reap considerable results as a consequence of collecting wisdom from experienced members of the organization or group.
Knowledge management projects have evolved to be of great importance. It has involved turning personal knowledge into corporate knowledge that can appropriately be used and shared in an organization. Implicit information is made more explicit and relayed to the required destination in time.
It has assisted in innovation and modernization. Ideas have been transformed into usable forms for commercialization purposes. Expertise, which already exists in the company, is shared to the development teams which may not know it and hence leading to production of better market-oriented commodities being produced.
It has led to improvement of processes that capture and store information and this has led to efficiency in retrieving needed information. Staff will benefit from the tacit or explicit information thus making them more effective. The result will be an improvement in the product quality.
Knowledge management leads to a change of behavior and mindset, solely because it requires effective leadership, ownership and competence at every level in the departments (Wiig, 2011). This will assist in further change in how business is done and how knowledge is perceived and supported.
It has led to increased sales and returns which has raised the wealth created. New markets have been opened up and due to the ready market of commodities produced; it has increased the revenue generated in many organizations.
Organizations have developed a deeper relationship with their customers. Apparently consumers have shared their vision comprising of the nature of products and services they would wish to be reaching them. This has shifted to be a customer focused formation and has reduced the fluctuation of sales from time to time. Moreover, the customers have assisted so much in providing information about the market and have eventually turned out to be partners in the business.
It has enabled organizations to share knowledge and ideas in a way that could not have been possible if KM was not there. This harmonization of vision and knowledge will result to better performance and specialization in areas which workers are best suited in (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995).
KM is going to improve and accelerate learning in an enterprise. This will bring in a desire to learn and to be innovative.
It has helped in mitigating risks through focusing and development of talents in varied fields. It has helped to prepare and anticipate the future and speculation will be enabled as a competitive advantage is going to be achieved. There are several strategies that companies should adopt to achieve positive results. This may include allowing institutional fitness that allows them to be more efficient than more similar.
Organizational technologies should be well understood and this will help to reduce imitation and ambiguity in the way things are going to be done. This can also be achieved by clearly understanding the goals.
Due attention should be given even to softer issues as these KM strategies may not be outlined in the master plan.