Information is a collection of facts that is presented to help make a decision, an analysis, or even an explanation. In its simplest form, information is data that has been collected, collated, organized, and analyzed. Information can be used to help explain the world around us, the human mind, or the universe. All types of information can be considered data, including scientific data, popular data, and even social data.
The scientific community, for example, has developed elaborate methods for studying information. Information science deals with the study of how the brain processes information and how this brain processing occurs. People may lack the scientific skills necessary to understand the abstract nature of scientific information. However, a person may lack the skills required for using the tools and models developed by scientists and the information science community, and a problem arises where the information on which these models and tools are based is no longer available.
The tools developed for managing knowledge use represent formal information systems. These tools may be used to manage knowledge within a company, between companies, or even for managing individuals. Knowledge management is a growing field, currently accounting for nearly 25% of the US gross domestic product. In some organizations, departments are hired to perform different forms of work that are information management tasks. One important area of information management is developing formal information systems that improve knowledge use and provide strategic advantage in organizational performance.