I always think of Information as data within a specific context. However, knowledge is what we do with the information and/or what we gain from it.
The information from the daily operations in an organizational context flows vertically from the workers to the head. The head of the organization transfers that information into knowledge, using it to predict any trend or make any decision in the company. Usually, the information as it goes up to the head, gets condensed more and more until the essentials. The top does not need to know little details but the overall picture to understand the situation and make decisions.
The effectiveness of information technology depends on how we use it and adopt it in the organization. For example, if we are storing or sharing the wrong information, then we are not creating or getting any benefit from it. There is no value in the data stored nor in the information created by it. In this case, we can apply the GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out); if the data stored or shared within an organization is bad, then the knowledge used by management to make any decision is wrong and useless.
Information technology makes our lives easier when used efficiently and correctly. As I previously described, it all depends if the information shared and stored is correct. If the information is correct, it would allow us to make faster and better decisions within an organization.
In one of my previous jobs, the company had the data stored on an AS400 server. Then, at night, it loaded to Oracle which later was loaded into SQL Server. This redundancy of tools slowed down the process of making decisions because they were always at least one day behind the current data. Thus, the support from Information Technology to management was not very effective because the decisions were based on dated information and not on what was going on at the moment. Management was making reactionary decisions instead of innovating.
The information is shared within an organization depending on the users’ role in the organization and permission to access the content. An example of the role, the sales department the users know exactly how many items they have sold, including basics details like time, to whom, amount, price, etc., while the manager would only need the information of sales trends to know where to actually send the sales persons or products. The highest level, such as the CEO and President of the organization, usually concentrate on whether the company is successful and making a profit, and they trust the managers to make decisions as to how to make that happen. We can say that the information trims and condenses as it goes from the bottom to the top, like an inverted cone.
In the permission perspective, the user is only allowed to access specific information. For example, a worker should not know how much money somebody else makes in the company, because that information is only allowed to the management. We can say that information is growing as it goes from the bottom to the top, like a cone.