Document and Knowledge Management Interrelationships

Document and Knowledge Management Interrelationships



In recent times the volume of documents produced daily has increased exponentially. There is a demand for an efficient and secure method to manage the documents and make the information, records and knowledge entailed in them available anywhere at any time. This demand has initiated the development of new technologies with new approach to document management. The new document management technologies integrate state of the art.       download the e-booksoftware components into web-based electronic multi-functional systems. These Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS), which are generally called Document Management System (DMS), are being implemented in organizations to resolve business-critical document management problems as well as to provide a platform for the organization’s Knowledgebase. However, with the emergence of the web technology and new business models, there is a general move towards knowledge management. New systems on the market propagate and claim to have knowledge management capabilities or functionalities. This creates the problem of finding a demarcating line between document management and knowledge management activities. It is also difficult to distinguish between DMS and Knowledge Management System (KMS). These issues form the background reasons for the theme of the thesis presented in this e-book.    download the e-book


As explained in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the word “document” originates from the Late Latin word “documentum” meaning official paper and from Latin meaning proof or lesson. Further meanings of a document include: An original or official paper relied on as the basis, proof, or support of something. It is a photograph or a recording that serves as evidence or proof. A document also means a writing conveying information. Over the years, document has been defined in different forms to suit the purpose of the context in which it is used. The documents referred to in this thesis are contextualized and organized writings, graphics and photographs on diverse media. These writings convey information relating to the organization’s working processes, project reports, policies, rules, regulations, knowledge and any relevant issues the organization deem necessary to be documented. The word “document” within the context of this work is therefore defined as an identifiable recording of information or/and knowledge on any type of recording medium that persists over time. A document includes some elements of contextualization, organization and analysis [GILH01].

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Several researchers have undertaken the study of information in order to understand its attributes, purpose and relevance. The confusion and misunderstanding that arise with the usage of the words “information” and “data” in the business world increase the need to find definitions clearly separating the two. From the numerous definitions available in different studies, information, in this work, is defined as “a message, usually in the form of a document or an audible or visible communication” [DAVE00]. A message has a sender and a receiver. The receiver decides whether the message is really information or not depending on whether the message truly informs him thereby making an impact on his outlook or insight. It follows that information is more than data. It has meaning to the receiver. Information is data endowed with relevance and purpose.


Data is factual information, especially used for analysis or reasoning. Data on its own has no meaning. The difference between information and data is illustrated in the following scenario: A system consultant who is contracted to advice on the suitable hardware for application software collects hardware prices from vendors. These prices (numbers) are on their own data. The comparison of the prices and functionalities of the hardware with each other yields the relevant information that can benefit the consultant in making a decision or recommendation. Data could be transformed into information by adding value to it through the following methods [DAVE00]:

Contextualization: knowing for what purpose the data was gathered

Categorization: knowing the units of analysis or key components of the data

Calculation: mathematical or statistical analysis may have been carried out

Condensation: summarization of the data in a more condensed form may have been done.

With the stated definitions, the relationship between document, information and data within the context of this work is thus manifested.

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