Data vs Information vs KnowledgeEveryone has become a lot more interested in data. We all know that data is now being collected from an almost infinite (sic) number of sources.

Everything we do is being recorded from thousands of dimensions.

When you make a phone call from your cell phone, it’s not just the number you called and the length of the call that is collected. Now your location is known, were you moving during the call, how many times have you previously called this same number. What apps were you using just before you made the call, what apps did you use after you made the call. How many times have all the phones you are associated with made calls to the phones associated with the person you called, or the company you called. How many emails or social posts have you shared with the person or company that you called.

The list of data that can be collected from simple devices is extensive.

The challenge is collating this data together, turning points of data into information. Working out the relationships.

And the further challenge is turning this information into valuable knowledge, ie. Working out what it means.

All of the data I’ve listed is available, and accessible to many applications and service providers. Some regulations, laws and settings you may choose to invoke in browsers and operating systems may control some of the data flow. But much is part of the standard flow of data you agree to when you use the services of companies.

There is an old adage “if you don’t pay for a product, then you are the product” and this is proving to be a very powerful business model in the internet age.