How to connect information and knowledge management

Lessonly's knowledge management software helps teams store, manage, and share important info. Jump into a lesson to learn more.

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Information and Knowledge Management

Knowledge is a common word, and so is information. They have similar concepts, but despite being frequently used interchangeably, they aren’t the same thing. They parallel each other in many ways, but they also have differences that give them distinct meanings and connotations. 

Put simply, “information” is a term used to describe hard facts about a person, place, or thing that you have either learned first hand or have been provided by a credible source. Knowledge is a term used to describe facts, information, and skills that a person acquires through their own life experiences or education.

So, based on these definitions, information and knowledge management have their differences. However, they also have a lot of similarities.

The Relationship Between Information and Knowledge Management

The relationship between information management and knowledge management may seem obvious. They’re synonyms, right? Actually, it’s not so simple. The concepts are somewhat similar, but knowledge management is far simpler and easier to accomplish than knowledge management. Information management and knowledge management are two distinct activities that are handled differently and serve different purposes. 

Similarities between information management and knowledge management

Before we detail the differences between information management and knowledge management, let’s look at a few similarities between information management and knowledge management. 

Knowledge, at a basic level, is made up of a collection of information. Information and knowledge are both things you can learn, whether through first-hand experience, education, or just from someone you believe to be a reliable source. Information is a refined bit of data that you can apply with other information to a particular situation. Knowledge is the ability to do so. Anyone can use the information to refine their skills or influence how they handle future situations. Knowledge is your ability to be aware of this information and understand how you can apply it in a way that benefits you.

Key differences between information management and knowledge management

Additionally, the term knowledge implies understanding the subject at hand and an awareness of the matter. On the other hand, information is simply refined data that someone has gained. Therefore, merely possessing information does not mean that a person has necessarily learned anything. 

For example, if I tell you that a dog’s heart usually weighs between 40 to 600g, this may be an interesting fact. However, it’s merely information, because there is no circumstance where this information would be practical and helpful unless you are a veterinarian. 

However, if I provide a list of symptoms indicating a canine heart condition because you are worried about their health, this is knowledge. It’s knowledge because I offered you information that you can use to decide how likely it is that your dog needs immediate medical attention.

Information management is simply a company’s way of collecting, storing, and distributing data, facts, and statistics they find relevant. But information management does not explain what the facts and data actually mean. It doesn’t provide any personal insight or clues as to how it might be helpful. It can come in many formats and be acquired in a variety of ways.

No matter how much data you collect and distribute or how many people you distribute it to, it’s utterly useless if the recipients can’t use it for practical purposes. 

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History of Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is a vital part of all businesses and organizations today, but it wasn’t always so prevalent. And when compared to the history of business and sales, the history of knowledge management is relatively short. It wasn’t acknowledged or considered until around the 1980s, and it wasn’t considered a recognized discipline until the next decade. However, some argue that the simple human quest for knowledge could be regarded as knowledge management and has, therefore, been around for centuries. 

In the 1980s, technology, the economy, and society as a whole underwent some significant changes. This led to a boom in knowledge management as we know it today. In addition, the growth in globalization led to increased opportunities, which led to increased competition and a pattern of mass downsizing. This resulted in corporations realizing that all of the knowledge they possessed often left with them when their employees left. 

To prevent this massive loss of information, companies found that they needed a new way of handling data and, therefore, relevant knowledge safely and securely to avoid being lost to them forever.

Knowledge Management and Information Systems

Information management and knowledge management, while simultaneously similar and dissimilar, are equally important in any organization. Therefore, all organizations should have a knowledge management and information system to help them take care of both.

Information management systems are quite simple. They use computers and other similar technology to store information until it is distributed to those who need it later. Then, it gathers data from multiple online sources, analyzes the data, and reports it back so that employees can use it later. 

A knowledge management system is any kind of technology system that stores and retrieves knowledge that anyone can easily apply to improve one’s understanding of a topic, work-related skills, collaboration, process alignment, and more. It can be used for an individual, a team, or a corporation as a whole. However, they can also be used to centralize your customer and user knowledge base.

Lessonly Makes Information and Knowledge Management Easy

Knowledge management and information management can be tricky, and finding the right systems to deal with them can be, too. That’s why the software you use has to work for the entire company, and it has to be ideal for your goals and needs. However, there are plenty of options to choose from, and the decision can be overwhelming and stressful. Fortunately, Lessonly has everything you need for information and knowledge management all in one place. 

Our information and knowledge management software makes it easy for organizations to capture, store, and share important information across teams and entire companies. This means that teams onboard smarter, connect crucial information, and save time like never before. Ready to learn more? Jump into a lesson to see what we have to offer.