Probably(I'm afraid???) the best way of understanding the nature of information is that it is something which is or can be digitized. The digitization of information allows it to be stored indefinitely, duplicated at will/randomly, communicated almost instantly anywhere in the world, analyzed and compared with other information, and accessed easily from vast/large databases. These are fabulous benefits, which leads to a very strong motivation/desire/aspiration to digitize information wherever possible.
Digitization is driving the tremendous growth in the information technology industry, which now attracts over half of US capital investment. Simultaneously, digitization has rapidly become more possible and pervasive through the exponential improvement of the price/performance ratios of both computing power and communications, combined with its increasing scope, which has extended from simple data and text to pictures, sound, video, and beyond.
The value of information and knowledge is entirely dependent on the context/ surrounding/ circumstance in which they are made available. A report on best practice in implementing e-commerce could be worth millions of dollars in savings to a large company planning to embark on such a project, substantially less to a smaller company or one already well down the track on implementation, and nothing to an individual or company with no plan for e-commerce. For an organization, the value of the information is that the organization must be in a position to act on it, and the profitability of the resulting action will suggest the information’s value.
Information can be used in a wide variety of contexts and situations. Decision making is the most obvious application of information. Information may not be destined for use in specific decision; however, it may be intended simply to keep managers informed of what is relevant and important in their business environment, and to help build the knowledge that provides a broad backdrop to decision-making and business activity.
In most cases managers do not acquire knowledge to address/deal with a specific situation, but draw on/use their existing knowledge to act effectively, and seek to develop their working knowledge on an ongoing basis/further.
In order for people to add value to information, they must first internalize it as knowledge. This means integrating it into their existing knowledge, adding value to that knowledge——which often happens in the process of internalization, as well as through subsequent/a series of analysis and synthesis——and then externalizing it as value—added information.