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Information

True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous
, conflicting information. Sir Winston Churchill


Information can be presented in a number of forms - text, numbers, graphics, video or sound and can be stored in filing cabinets, computers and a person’s memory. While the collection and storage of information is important, knowing that the information exists, understanding it and using it to positively contribute to the operation of the organization is crucial.

We categorize information and its use in four ways, which can be used and exploited by appropriate information technology:

  • Data - discreet facts, for example, on products, customers, services, people, invoices, etc. (file storage systems).

  • Information - the relationship between different types of data, for example, products ordered by a customer, students attending a class, or the topography and demography of a city (database and objectbase technology).

  • Knowledge - extracting meaning from information, for example, profiling the types of  people who are likely to buy the latest gadget, evade paying taxes, default on agreements, or make excessive insurance claims (parallel systems and search engines).

  • Wisdom - using knowledge in conjunction with experience for making decisions or forming judgments, for example, complex diagnostic systems, or suggesting future courses of action based on information about the future and the results of previous courses of action (expert systems and neural networks).

Ownership: Information is collected, stored, retrieved, updated and made secure and these functions may involve many different people and departments. To maintain control, individuals or groups should be nominated to be responsible for and ‘own’ these various activities. Consideration should also be given to two separate and independent issues of security:
Confidentiality
- limiting access to specific people or groups using encryption, passwords, or physical locks.

Integrity
-
protection from corruption, damage, loss and denial of access to authorized users. >>>