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2014. 12. 08.I author: European Association of Development Agencies -

Wisdom, knowledge, information, facts seen from the perspective of creativity and innovation

To conceptualize the process of "management of..." information, data, knowledge, creativity and innovation is important since it provides a solid basis for appropriate decision making process.

Written by Luis Cañada for the Basque Country


Wisdom, knowledge, information, data  are words - concept that determine, each in its place, the scope of what may be the creativity, innovation and which are words that are also concepts by which we are faced with a group of six.

These words/concepts illustrate a misunderstanding differentiation between them and therefore once can say that there is some confusion that grows within the business sector and are used very frequently with erroneous assumptions. Furthermore, we are frequently subjected  to a combination of these words with jargon such as  "database", "information management", "knowledge management", "innovation policy", etc., mixtures where in rare cases are cited to one’s knowledge, (possibly because those who speak are not wise).


To control these issues, we have various options, two of which include  

i)  Applying the definition of these words directly from a dictionary, however there is the possibility of misinterpretation following the cycle we are currently in.

ii)  The use of metaphors or examples to describe each concept. This option may be better alternatives long as we can provide a common point of understanding.

According to the dictionary of synonyms and antonyms: 

  • Data: news, reference, history, circumstance, number, amount
  • Information: notice, reportage, testimony, communication
  • Knowledge: understanding, intelligence, judgment, reason, science, scholarship, culture.
  • Wisdom: science, scholarship, culture, knowledge, knowledge, wisdom.
  • Creativity: ability to create, invent, generate, imagine, conceive
  • Innovation: novelty, invention, originality, change


It can be seen in this development of synonyms there are overlaps that connect one concept with another, or what is the same border between others is rather diffuse, this can be presented visually using bar graphs, two other very important concepts for humans have been incorporated in the bar graph; emotions and feelings.


Data: Living beings, independent of the environment, they interact between them through their senses, in principle and unless opinion against this are five, sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste. All of them send their signals to the brain and this processes them in the form of data, these are data.

In the context of humans, there are also other situations that humans generate data, thus:

  • Cases in which these come either by sensory perception or through acquisition carried out by manmade instruments, for example the signal of intensity at a point and specified time

          Or when we receive the information from  another human being as it can be the case of the value of a component or the number of people who perform some activity.


In these two situations the collected data have been manipulated by other humans, in such case the data can be considered more than data for those who have manipulated it; depending on the degree of intervention some people will receive information of the collected data and others the knowledge behind the collected data.

Facing this reflection we can define in our environment the following important features of the data:

  • Collective data forms part of an external system and therefore con be stored and preserved in both the human memory and non-human like memory.
  • Consider data that:
    1. It is not subjected to prior manipulation
    2. It has been manipulated and that manipulation gets abstract magnitude
  • If the data corresponds to sensory perceptions, it could differ from person to person. 
  • Delving into the above, not all data are susceptible of being retained in a wide range of peripheral support.
  • The data forms a significant support for the information


Information: Is built from a conscious and default ordering of data, these can be processed by the minds of tacitly or explicitly, and equipment created by people to manipulate and process data. The information is something that a human makes available to another. 

 The information thus obtained may be:

(i) Data; for those who don’t understand the information

(ii) Information; for those who are able to create interactions with information to generate other information or knowledge received

(iii) Knowledge: for those who have built algorithms and or systems for the processing of the data and information. These people know what is behind and how the information has been generated. They have criteria to validate it or override it


By the level of comprehension and how we facilitate this, we can say, for example, that when we see a graphic of the evolution of pressure over time, or when we receive the balance accounts, or when you read a story, if we fully comprehend then we can say we are receiving information, if on the other hand, we do not understand, we can say that we are receiving data.

 As in the case of data, in information we identified the following characteristics for the purpose of our project, thus:

  • It is the conscious combination carried out by human minds, or the ingenuity created from these data to obtain from them a different product, more rich  and complex that can be criticized.
  • Data forms part of an external system and therefore con be stored and preserved in both the human memory and non-human like memory.
  • As long as the information is subjected to human intervention it is not  necessarily the same for all people.
  • As long as the information requires human intervention, information may be stored and processed in peripherals
  • The information is the threshold of knowledge


Knowledge: Is the exercise to process the information and the data residing both in the brain and in peripheral to which the person may have access through the different sensory perceptions. The exercise of knowledge consists in the realization of the various possible combinations supported by reasoning and laws, that is, reasoning and laws that support this and among the possible results that are suitable, and where possible, comply with certain laws. Knowledge can have two approaches:

  • Static, if it becomes an end in itself
  • Dynamic, if applied to create- as it leads to new possible knowledge and subsequently to new possibilities of interacting information. Knowledge benefits from the creativity of people in such a way that greater creativity results in greater knowledge. Creative people are the driving forces behind knowledge. A synthesis of the above is that knowledge to be makers of  hypothesis,  an excellent search engine solutions and sometimes an optimum roads Finder

A significant part of this knowledge is likely to be put into external systems that complement the human capacity-If it is equally likely to be transferred to other people.

When knowledge in peripheral media reach people that do not possess the knowledge suitable for your understanding concerned knowledge is transmuted in information for these people until they are able to establish and understand the relationships cause effect that is behind the knowledge.

As a complement to the above and to watch total for the structure of the problem, we must not forget that the people we have a significant quality which could be described as a sixth sense. This sixth sense is related to emotional, not sensory perceptions and nor does it have to be logical and not rational, nor is it transferable or storable, but is of the most importance for the decision making of people, perhaps in this aspect is more significant than the knowledge developed by the person as a result of the way of data-information - reflection.

Important features in the knowledge are:

  • It is personal
  • The personal being is not manageable by third parties
  • When you outsource it becomes information for third parties that in turn and if they understand the information they internalize it in knowledge

Knowledge is the prelude to wisdom


Wisdom: We can consider it as the proper exercise of knowledge, or what is the same: multiple combinations and possible interactions between the data and information made available to the person is the quality of selecting the optimal choice that corresponds to each moment. But the wisdom is also an existential quality that links knowledge with the emotions and the feelings of the person. Wisdom requires broad knowledge since greater range corresponds to greater possibility of more combinations and therefore able to have one palette of solutions. The wisdom of people creates an environment of emulation that makes the social life more enjoyable while it provides bases for the establishment of a wise social group. Wisdom is able to convert what is complex in simple. Wisdom allows you to get ahead in the selection of the correct hypotheses.

Important features of wisdom are:

  • It is personal
  • You need knowledge, emotions and sensations
  • It leads to the socialization of knowledge.
  • It coexists with the simplicity

With the four previous twigs, we must build the basket of our creativity and through it reach to innovation.


Creativity, we can consider it as a quality that people have to sort and orient its skills in the accomplishment of a goal. Creativity is therefore eminently dynamic, if necessary to provide the person all his knowledge, emotions and sensations to get from one point to another in space and in time, space and time that they have no match with the spaces and Cartesian or relativistic times but with those defined in the project that has set the person. In the creativity game one must go preparing the ground to go by selecting (and therefore rejecting) roads in every moment at the same time that for reconfiguring the objective to emerging new knowledge, emotions and sensations which may suggest to reformulate the initial objective. In creativity it is important to the ability of people to neuronal interactions with knowledge, information and data which possess, so that a greater number of interactions more creativity. The interactions that the creative person select don't have to necessarily be logical or rational, but that the choice can be made according to other parameters of assessment such as the emotional, aesthetic, ethical, etc. Therefore the creative people are large suppliers of hypotheses and therefore are people who are approaching the problems of unusual forms, know think like the others and also know to think differently.

While creativity may be a personal act, in fact it is, we see it optimized in a supportive environment of internal social relations so that it integrates the most of people since it is in these environments where it flows in flow knowledge, this is the environment where ideas connected brains feeding each other. Almost is the creative State of people's minds is the optimal State to which the person can be reached.

Creativity needs time, a lot of time, dedicated to be an activity eminently productive; however there is a risk to that someone may not create wealth with which you can start a process of close doors so we must reflect on this fact.

 Important features of creativity are:

  • It is personal
  • You need knowledge
  • You need sensitivity and emotion
  • Defines a target
  • It is dynamic
  • You need time for their own consumption
  • You need the exercise of different ways of thinking
  • It is optimized with socialization



 After walking by the previous concept words reach the word final conception of our trip, i.e. we are at the point where we are going to undertake innovation, which is not anything else do things different or differently from what we do now. Innovation is not an end in itself but yes is becoming a competitive necessity since every day the markets in which we participate are made more transparent and with this transparency the competitive advantages of firms are diluting.

As is the case with the creativity, the innovation is dynamic and requires the definition of a target.

Unlike the creativity, the innovation is not supported in feelings and emotions but in the knowledge

The key is to identify on what innovate, when and how to do it.

  • In the what proposal is in everything that can give value to customers and through these to the company, as well:
    • Products
    • Processes
    • Organization
    • Company culture
    • Relations  with stakeholders


  • In  the when the proposal to do so when:
    • Being proactive, as soon as possible according to the resources allocated to think and offer proposals for innovation
    • Being reactive,


      • If current via is close to reaching its  saturation,  
      • or when an unforeseen situation has  surprised us 
      • or when with the same means and agents  it is decided to perform another activity or another strategy


  • In the how proposal is to do it based on the maximum of people in the Organization, and this requires:
    • The voluntary contribution of the people of their creativity and knowledge
    • A  proper policy of information and communication, as well as computer support, the so-called ICT
    • The perspective mentioned the process known "Manage knowledge" can and should be of great value to channel the flow of data, information that they end up being knowledge and wisdom and that they will result in proposals for innovation.


How to implement it?

Considering every aspect of Governance, from the structure itself to the participation, management and communication, different approaches should be adopted in order to give the corresponding place to knowledge from the perspective of innovation and creativity.

 A comprehensive support service  scheme should be built  to help policy-makers in becoming self-confident in their abilities and knowledge, and becoming encourage enough to acquire the required knowledge to make not only successful decisions but in an efficient, innovative, quick and effective way.

Such a scheme could, for instance, include aspects that aim for fostering attitudes, developing human resources or adding technological elements in order to help to identify the bodies and their specific tasks, roles and responsibilities, increase interaction and collaboration among individuals and entities and foster discussion and dialogue.

More specifically, the implementation would include actions such as advice, support, training, review of lessons learned and discussion forums, brainstorming workshops to identify sleeping ideas, different learning processes, for example, learning by interacting by means of collaboration among agents, networking opportunities, coaching and so on. Confidence and trust (important at starting a consensus building process) can be achieved by establishing personal relationships with intensive communication among the stakeholders and involving them in surveys and studies.


Step 2 - Governance: Ensuring participation and ownership

In the believe that Governance is key to concentrate different actors and implement new innovation systems, the consideration of this issue, at this stage, is crucial for policy-makers and implementing bodies in order to fulfil their responsibilities successfully.

Considering that the bon savoir-faire and the good governance emerged from the baseline of interdisciplinary knowledge (broadest sense of the word: considering above conceptualization) and the experiences regarding interaction among the actors and the coordination of their efforts, the management of knowledge from the perspective of creativity and innovation acquire a relevant importance.   

Knowledge, creativity and innovation should shape the decisions of every individual of an organization and scale up to higher positions, and after exchanging of ideas, cooperation and collaboration of all parts, each one from each expertise, knock the innovation systems in line with the regions’ needs and expectations.

In other words, policy-makers and implementing bodies of different types and levels will come up with correct and much more enriched decisions.


What can be expected?

Thinking like a corporate executive who is trying to conceptualize the process "management of..." might not be the most appropriate in managing knowledge since this is hardly manageable, if it is that it was thinking about. However it does seem possible to focus as a manageable subject either of the following two: i) the information and data or ii) creativity and innovation.

The aim to manage these last two is risky but more rewarding. Between the last two concepts seems closest of "innovation" to be more rational to be less linked to feelings and emotions, but there is no doubt that it is more complex than trying to manage "creativity". You only need put it as objective.

To conceptualize the process of:  "management of..." the information and data or creativity and innovation is important since provide a solid basis for appropriate decision making process.

References:  Luis Cañada - Written for an internal reflection in relation to the process called “knowledge management”.


Luis Cañada

Luis Cañada linked to Vicinay Cadenas S.A. since 1970, has served as its Director-General in the last 25 years, as well as President of the Basque Maritime Forum, member of numerous boards and forums and Honorary General Consul of Norway to the Basque Country, Navarre and Cantabria. He is an Industrial Engineer and Bachelor of Arts who likes using his own neologisms and designing algorithms for sustainable enterprises in his lectures and writings. He has participated in numerous seminars on Innovation and its relationship with enterprises and collaborated in several projects with the University.

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