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Van Der Noord Financial Advisors

Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom

OUR PROCESSData, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom

We live in a world of 24/7 “news” and the entire Library of Congress at our disposal with just the click of a mouse. Unfortunately, all this data is often mistaken as knowledge – or even worse- wisdom.

Data is simply facts or figures — bits of information, but not information itself. When data is processed, interpreted, organized, structured or presented so as to make it meaningful or useful, it is called information. Information provides context for data.

Knowledge on the other hand, is acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report. In basic terms, it is what you observe after gathering data, applying context, and organizing data into useful and valuable information.

When a person acquires knowledge, they can understand patterns within information and data and apply these ideas to future scenarios. You can have data and information without knowledge, but you can't obtain knowledge without data and information. It wouldn't be possible.

So that leaves wisdom. Wisdom is most often applied to PLANNING and PURPOSING. In other words, you could say that while knowledge provides you with WHAT to say, it is wisdom that affords you the ability to know WHEN and HOW to say it. Also, wisdom is associated with initiation and forethought.

All four of these concepts are interconnected. Well, except for data. It is the only one that can stand on its own, but it doesn't really have much of a purpose when it does. Data consists of facts. Information is an assembly of the data. Knowledge is the awareness of the information. And finally, wisdom is the accumulated knowledge to make appropriate decisions depending on the situation.

  • Data + Context = Information
  • Information + Analysis = Knowledge
  • Knowledge + Discernment = Wisdom  

Application to Financial Planning

Our value proposition is obviously not in offering data, which is free and ubiquitous. Neither is it in providing information. Rather, what we bring to a client relationship is knowledge and to a much greater extent wisdom. Nearly every day, wealthy families are faced with a bombardment of data which forces them to answer three questions…

Is this true or not?

If it is true, does it affect me or my family in any way?

If this affects me, what do I do about it?

That first question adds another layer of complexity to the mix. Not all data is real. What? Shocking right? Often data is accompanied by bad/incomplete context resulting in misinformation. And then everything goes downhill from there.

It is said that it is much easier to recover from a bad investment than it is from bad advice. This is where we come in. This is the future of Advice. This is planning done right!