Business is a dynamic field in which out-of-date information can lead to poor decisions. Busi-ness information must be timely—that is, provided at the right time. Computerized information systems can record events and dispense relevant information soon after the event. A great deal of business information becomes available almost at the moment that a transaction occurs. Timeliness means that the data are current enough to still be relevant.
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Organizations can use knowledge in a similar way. Knowledge is accumulated not just from a single individual, however, but from many sources. Financial managers, human resource managers, sales managers, customer reports, economic forecasts, and custom-ordered research all contribute to an organization’s knowledge base. All of this data forms the organization’s memory. From a company’s perspective, knowledge is a blend of previous experience, insight, and data that forms organizational memory. It provides a framework that can be thoughtfully applied when assessing a business problem. Business researchers and decision makers use this knowledge to help create solutions to strategic and tactical problems. Thus, knowledge is a key resource and a potential competitive advantage