Robert J Zuurdeeg

Turning Data into Knowledge and Managing It

Blog Post created by Robert J Zuurdeeg Employee on Apr 17, 2017

The Digital Transformation of Information in the Application Economy: Part Four of Five


New apps support business strategy and provide valuable mechanisms for interacting with users. The knowledge management challenge they present is that IT has to track, process and manage the data—yet another way the app economy has changed the info lifecycle.

Management needs this data at their disposal, since they have to be more nimble in responding to users. But management doesn’t need data, per se; it’s knowledge. With that in mind, let’s agree on these definitions:

  • Information=Structured data
  • Knowledge=Information in context

You Need Plan A—and Plan B

IT has to ensure that management gets the knowledge they need to make nimble business decisions. In formulating a knowledge management plan, answer these questions:

  1. Does IT understand each manager/department’s knowledge needs and enterprise-wide knowledge needs?
  2. Is the knowledge being delivered current? Is that evident to the knowledge users?
  3. Can management readily get the knowledge when needed?
  4. Is knowledge delivered in a format that best supports management?
  5. Is mission-critical knowledge securely stored and accessed, well defined and backed up frequently?
  6. If the IT infrastructure fails, do you have a Plan B for accessing critical knowledge?

Perhaps Even Plan C

We also need to remember that individual departments retain department-unique knowledge that may not be mission-critical enterprise-wide. Such repositories are usually met with almost immediate adoption, but unless a skilled knowledge manager is identified, and that role is in their job description, most departmental repositories become large files of artifacts that accumulate with no logical plan.

Things don’t need to unspool like that. When IT provides guidance and support for department repositories, they will likely provide value: information in context that is accessible when needed, so departments can be nimble enough to contribute to the bottom line.

The World is Your Audience

In the app economy, we also support external end users who conduct business via smart phone: banking transactions, purchasing goods and services, arranging travel—the list goes on.

Users expect the right data, delivered in protected mode, to be readily visible and understandable on a small screen. They also expect their responses to be accurate and secure.

When IT gives users information in context, users can readily make informed decisions, and the company will be an industry leader.

Next, we’ll look at the underlying technical details of managing data. Until then, we’d love to hear from you if you’ve encountered knowledge management challenges other than those discussed here.

In case you missed them, here are the links to posts one, two and three