Data and Information in the last decade has become so
prevalent and available to almost anyone with an internet
connection, that it might lead one to believe we have become
a fact-based culture. Indeed, just the opposite has been occurring.
Which is not to say there are not good, reliable sources of data
and information available. But the ability to parse out the noise,
irrelevancy and falsities are becoming more and more difficult as
the content of electronic text and information rapidly expands.
Consequently, Data and Information does not necessarily correlate
into Fact and Knowledge. This trend has become widely evident
over the last 4 plus years of the financial and economic crisis.
Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly reports published by financiers,
banks and government agencies; such as the BLS (labor data),
Census (CP Surveys) and FHA/GSE entities (housing/mortgage data)
have been proven to be doctored and overall manipulated data-sets
that have been and currently are being passed off as so-called fact
and subsequently, knowledge.
What is knowledge? Knowledge is the direct relationship of thorough
investigation, in-depth study and thoughtful analysis. In essence,
it is the ‘science’ of information- indeed, it is not an idea or perception,
but rather Fact, which is the foundation of all knowledge.
What knowledge is not though, is a perception of facts. Sadly
though, that (perception) is what most of the main stream financial
and economic news, findings and figures have become. A perception,
or rather a Distorted Perception.
Among the many benefits of knowledge, is knowledge that leads
to improved and more efficient decision making. Applicable content
and data which can be filtered down to being relevant and practical
information,is one of the keys to obtaining fact-based knowledge.
But in recent years more-so than ever, authority, to a certain
extent, has taken information and data and turned into a ‘concept’
of a perceived fact rather than absolute fact, to suit their
particular needs; economically, politically and financially.
Which of course, then places ‘Fact’ under scrutiny. In addition to
these entities of authority, are ‘Social’ media and business platforms,
where there are significant gaps in credible data. As well as in the
delivery of credible content and data, which is typically unstructured,
unverified, and often results in unreliable content and information.
The verification of data and then, how data gets expressed is mission
critical to the competence of any informative data-set and ultimately
the Foundation of Fact-Based Knowledge.
So while the flow of data, information and knowledge cannot, nor
should not be limited, there needs to be more of an emphasis placed
upon the reliability and verification of data, information with relation
to the knowledge attained from absolute Fact. Credibility and reliability
are indeed the core pillars to achieving a true fact-based culture.