Education system in our schools and colleges in India are well designed to distribute huge amounts of data as well as information to the students but fails to teach how to use the collected information.
We are groomed from our childhood not to use our processing capabilities of our brain but to best use our memory capability of our brain. When a question is put to either teachers or parents, it doesn’t get answered and more importantly, we are asked not to waste time thinking about unnecessary things. We are forced to study the only solution available to the problem and use the same solution whenever we are confronted with that problem. Problem solving or thinking skill is literally discarded from our education system both by teachers as well as parents.
Students would be able to improve thinking skill by understanding the basics of data, information and knowledge.
Data is nothing but facts and figures. Data must be organized to become information. To organize data, one needs to analyze the data to derive meaningful information. This interpreted information differs from person to person as every individual seeks different information from the same data. Another important point with respect to information is that, it can be right or wrong depending on the person analyzing it.
Knowledge is the result of applying your thinking on data or information based on your experience to gather insight. In other words, Knowledge is the meaningful links people make in their minds between information and its uses. To sum it up, data is truth, information is someone’s analysis on truth, knowledge is what we know in our mind about it.
Given the data, what matters are your ability to use it to build meaningful information (analyzing data)and knowledge (applying information). For example, ‘Huge wind storms yesterday night’ is data, ‘today fish catch will be less’ is information, ‘not to buy fish today as prices will be high’ is knowledge.