The Understanding Spectrum: Turning Data into Wisdom

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Understanding what is needed to turn data in to information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into wisdom is important for transmedia storytellers (and information designers in general). This short presentation is part of an in-class lecture by Peter von Stackelberg.

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  • “Understanding should be thought of as a continuum from data to wisdom.” (Wurman, 2001, p. 27)“…at the end of the spectrum, understanding gets increasingly personal until it is so intimate that it cannot truly be shared with others.” (Wurman, 2001, p. 27)ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • “Data is the raw material that we use to build our communications.” (Shedroff, 2000, p. 272)“Data is not a complete message.” (Shedroff, 2000, p. 272)Data is not suitable for presentation to consumers of information.“Successful communications do not present data.” (Shedroff, 2000, p. 272)ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • Content must relate to:The data’s environment (i.e. where it came from, how it is arranged, why it is being communicated, etc.)The environment and intent of the person interpreting the data (Wurman, 2001, p. 28)“Without context, information cannot exist.” (Wurman, 2001, p. 28)“Facts in themselves make no sense without a frame of reference. They can be understood only when they relate to an idea.” (Wurman, 2001, p. 31)In other words, facts need to be put into context to be meaningful.ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • Context must relate to:The data’s environment (i.e. where it came from, how it is arranged, why it is being communicated, etc.)The environment and intent of the person interpreting the data (Wurman, 2001, p. 28)“Without context, information cannot exist.” (Wurman, 2001, p. 28)ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • Information is the transmission of thoughtful messages that reveal the relationships and patterns among the data presented. (Shedroff, 2000, p. 272)Information comes from the form data takes as we arrange and present it in different ways. (Wurman, 2001, p. 28)How data is organized changes the interpretation or meaning of that information. (Wurman, 2001, p. 28)Presentation creates meaningThe meaning of data organized in exactly the same way can change drastically depending upon how it is presented (i.e. verbal, textual, visual, auditory, or some other mode) (Wurman, 2001, p. 28)ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • The integration of experience is needed to develop a deeper understanding of patterns of information.ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • Experience exists on a continuum, ranging from the universal to the individual.Universal experiences include such experiences as fulfilling basic human needs, engaging in social interactions with others, and experiencing the human life cycle (i.e. birth, adolescence, adulthood, aging, and death)Individual experiences can be can be any of a multitude of things we experience as individuals and our personal versions of the universal experiences noted.ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • Knowledge is created by integrating an experience with information.“Knowledge is gained through a process of integration, in both the presentation and the mind of the audience.” (Shedroff, 2000, p. 273) Knowledge can only be gained by experiencing the same set of data (information) in different ways and seeing it from different perspectives. (Wurman, 2001, p. 28)Patterns of information define knowledge define knowledge and allow us to better understand the subject matter better.These patterns also enable us to use that information in different contexts with different subjects. (Wurman, 2001, pg. 29)Experience design is emerging to help define what great experiences are (so that knowledge can be build from them) and to discover the processes for creating great experiences for others. (Wurman, 2001, p. 29)ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • Global knowledge – relies on high levels of shared understandings and agreements about communications (Shedroff, 2000, p. 273)Global knowledge is often based on processesLocal knowledge – relies on common experiences shared among relatively few people (Shedroff, 2000, p. 273)Personal knowledge – relies on the unique experiences of an individual (Shedroff, 2000, p. 273)ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • Wisdom is a kind of meta-knowledge, a blending of all the process and relationships understood through experience.” (Shedroff, 2000, p. 273)Wisdom is not created like data and knowledge are. (Shedroff, 2000, p. 273)Wisdom operates within us instead of outside of us. (Wurman, 2001, p. 29)We must be able to confront ourselves on an intimate level to build wisdom.Wisdom is a difficult level for many people to reach.Wisdom can only be build by creating experiences and describing processes that “ offer our audiences opportunities to find wisdom”. (Shedroff, 2000, p. 274)“What can only be shared is the experiences that form the building blocks for wisdom.” (Wurman, 2001, p. 29)These experiences must be communicated with an understanding of the personal context of our audience.ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • Wisdom is a kind of meta-knowledge, a blending of all the process and relationships understood through experience.” (Shedroff, 2000, p. 273)Wisdom is not created like data and knowledge are. (Shedroff, 2000, p. 273)Wisdom operates within us instead of outside of us. (Wurman, 2001, p. 29)We must be able to confront ourselves on an intimate level to build wisdom.Wisdom is a difficult level for many people to reach.Wisdom can only be build by creating experiences and describing processes that “ offer our audiences opportunities to find wisdom”. (Shedroff, 2000, p. 274)“What can only be shared is the experiences that form the building blocks for wisdom.” (Wurman, 2001, p. 29)These experiences must be communicated with an understanding of the personal context of our audience.ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • Wisdom is a kind of meta-knowledge, a blending of all the process and relationships understood through experience.” (Shedroff, 2000, p. 273)Wisdom is not created like data and knowledge are. (Shedroff, 2000, p. 273)Wisdom operates within us instead of outside of us. (Wurman, 2001, p. 29)We must be able to confront ourselves on an intimate level to build wisdom.Wisdom is a difficult level for many people to reach.Wisdom can only be build by creating experiences and describing processes that “ offer our audiences opportunities to find wisdom”. (Shedroff, 2000, p. 274)“What can only be shared is the experiences that form the building blocks for wisdom.” (Wurman, 2001, p. 29)These experiences must be communicated with an understanding of the personal context of our audience.ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • “Context becomes more personal as understanding becomes more complext. In addition, participation on the audience’s part becomes important and then mandatory along the same progression. “(Shedroff, 2000, p. 274)ReferencesShedroff, N. (2000). Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. In R. Jacobson, Information Design (pp. 265 - 292). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Wurman, R. S. (2001). Information Anxiety 2. Indianapolis: Que.
  • The Understanding Spectrum: Turning Data into Wisdom

    1. 1. The Understanding Spectrum: Turning Data into Wisdom Presentation by Peter von Stackelberg March 22, 2010
    2. 2. Understanding is a continuum with data atone end and wisdom at the other. Data Information Knowledge Wisdom Understanding
    3. 3. Data is the raw material that we use to buildour understanding. Data
    4. 4. Data must have context in order to havemeaning. Data Context
    5. 5. The context of the data is important todetermining even the most basic meaning. Data 1:00 pm 59 Alfred, NY 59o 03/20/2010 Context
    6. 6. The context within which the user of the dataexists is important in determining meaning. Intent (Start Garden) Data 03/20/2010 59 Alfred, NY User Context
    7. 7. Context exists on a continuum, ranging fromglobal to personal. Data Global Local Personal Context
    8. 8. The organization and presentation of datacreates meaning – and information. Data Information Global Personal Context Local
    9. 9. The organization and presentation of datacreates meaning – and information. Data Information (Created through 59 organization and presentation) Context
    10. 10. Experience is needed to extract additionalunderstanding from information. Experience Data Information Global Personal Context Local
    11. 11. Experience exists on a spectrum fromuniversal to individual experiences. Experience Data Information Universal Individual Global Personal Context Local
    12. 12. Our experiences and context turn informationinto knowledge Experience Data Information Knowledge “We’ve had snow in late (It is 59o in Alfred in is too early in the (It 59 late March.) March in the season to plant my garden.) past.” User Context
    13. 13. Knowledge can only be created by integratingexperiences with information. Experience Data Information Knowledge Universal Individual Global Personal Context Local
    14. 14. A spectrum of knowledge – global, local, andpersonal – emerges from those experiences. Experience Data Information Knowledge Global Local Personal Universal Individual Global Personal Context Local
    15. 15. Wisdom is meta-knowledge – processes andrelationships understood through experience. Experience Data Information Knowledge Wisdom Global Personal Local Universal Individual Global Personal Context Local
    16. 16. Wisdom is seeing interrelationships; it comesfrom knowledge, experience, and context. Experience Data Information Knowledge Wisdom (Growing my own (It is 59o in Alfred in is too early in the (It food is good for me 59 late March.) season to plant my the earth…but I’ll garden.) and have to wait a little longer.) User Context
    17. 17. Wisdom operates at the most intimate levelwithin us; it cannot exist outside of us.
    18. 18. Wisdom operates at the most intimate levelwithin us; it cannot exist outside of us. Experience Data Information Knowledge Wisdom Global Personal Local Universal Individual Global Personal Context Local
    19. 19. The role of the audience in the creation ofunderstanding ranges from passive to active. Audience Non-participatory Participatory Experience Non-participatory (Passive) Participatory (Active) Data Information Knowledge Wisdom Global Personal Local Universal Individual Global Personal Context Local

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