Amid a flood of data, there is a thirst for knowledge.

Are your people drowning in data? The metaphor is ubiquitous. Relying on faster, larger, and cheaper storage media and using better database management systems, the world of business is awash in data.

Consider the introduction of product bar codes; the recording of credit card, retail, health-care, and communications transactions; and the fact that digital control of plant operations enables the recording of all aspects of system performance. Instead of megabytes or even gigabytes of data, we have moved beyond terabytes.

Diffuse, fragmented, useful, it seems, for narrow purposes, the very data we rely on for better decision making, better marketing and operation, and better control of the enterprise overwhelm us. Looking beyond the bare facts, we look for the underlying meaning. We look for insight. We seek the knowledge hidden in the data.

Few would disagree with Francis Bacon's claim of 400 years ago that "Knowledge itself is power". But, in this age of data (some would say too much data), knowledge can be elusive. At Knowledge Discovery Associates our mantra for the modern world is:

In the data is the knowledge. In the knowledge is the power.


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