The knowledge archipelago

We’re living amidst a paradox in our relationship to information.  A recent University of California study finds that the average American consumes information for nearly 12 hours a day, sucking down about 34 gigabytes during that time.  Yet, we are continually surprised by stock market crashes, assets bubbles…and who knows what next?

We suffer from a quantity-relevance gap with regard to information.  Simply put, the voluminous information we have is not always the information we most need.   As a result, “data overload” or “information anxiety” are maladies that many of us experience often.

Part of the problem is the escalating proliferation of information sources.  This started back in the last decades of the 20th century when the number of magazines and TV channels began growing exponentially.  And the subsequent growth of the Internet in general, and of social media in particular, makes that pale by comparison.

You might explain this by saying that a household—being the smallest type of organization—is especially inept when it comes to information usage, and assume that larger organizations would have figured it all out by now.  But in my experience they suffer from the same kinds of problems, often compounded by being up-scaled and highly complex.

Large organization C-level decision makers typically report that they have to make bigger decisions, in shorter time frames—and have less than they would prefer of the information to do so rationally.

Not enough information?  When companies spend on average more than 5% of revenues on information??  How is this possible???

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Latest Posts

  • Topics

  • Archives

  • About this site

    COMPETING IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY is written by Timothy Powell, an independent researcher and consultant in knowledge strategy. Tim is president of The Knowledge Agency® (TKA) and serves on the faculty of Columbia University's Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) graduate program.


    "During my more than three decades in business, I have served more than 100 organizations, ranging from Fortune 500s to government agencies to start-ups. I document my observations here with the intention that they may help you achieve your goals, both professional and personal.

    "These are my opinions, offered for your information only. They are not intended to substitute for professional advice."


    We typically publish monthly on or about the 15th of each month, subject to our client workload. Use the RSS feed links below to subscribe to posts and/or comments. Better yet, follow us on Twitter @twpowell to be notified of new posts and related developments.

    Thanks for reading! Please mention us to others and add your non-spam comments and suggestions -- we value your input.


    COMPETING IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY is sponsored by the Knowledge Value Chain® (KVC), a methodology that increases the value and ROI of Data, Information, Knowledge, and Intelligence.

    The contents herein are original, except where otherwise noted. All original contents are Copyright © TW Powell Co. All rights reserved.

    All KVC trademarks, trade names, designs, processes, manuals, and related materials are owned and deployed worldwide exclusively by The Knowledge Agency®. Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.


    E SCIENTIA COPIA. Knowledge is the Engine of Value.