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Strategically Enabling Organizational Knowledge Management

Defining Knowledge Management

Knowledge management as a concept is receiving increased attention in the field of postsecondary education. But what is knowledge management, exactly?

APQC, a non-profit focused on the improvement of knowledge management (KM), defines KM as “a collection of systematic approaches to help knowledge flow to and between the right people at the right time (in the right format at the right cost) so they can act more efficiently and effectively to create value for the organization.”

As NCHEMS co-develops knowledge management frameworks with our partners, we focus on the intentional management of data, information, and knowledge. To clarify the differences between these terms, we have created the following definitions, adapted from definitions cited by the University of Minnesota Libraries and Dataversity.

Data are raw facts and figures, both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Data become information when they are presented in a context with relevance to one or more people at a point in time so that it can answer a question or support decision-making. Knowledge is information that has been retained with an understanding of the significance of that information and includes something gained by experience, study, familiarity, association, awareness, and/or comprehension.

Successful data, information, and knowledge management focuses on the following four components:

Some Lessons We Have Learned Through our Work in KM

Knowledge Management Questions to Ask to and About Your Team

Consider reflecting on the following questions to better understand the current state, and potential areas for improvement, of knowledge management within your organization.

Having clearly articulated goals, objectives, and needs is necessary to develop and implement a knowledge management infrastructure that continues to support an organization’s mission over the long term. Our team has expertise in working with organizations to codevelop actionable roadmaps for institutionalizing best practices in KM.

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