We end the chapter with a discussion on the concept of knowledge management (KM). All companies accumulate knowledge over the course of their existence. Some of this knowledge is written down or saved, but not in an organized fashion. Much of this knowledge is not written down; instead, it is stored inside its employees' heads. Knowledge management is the process of formalizing the capture, indexing, and storing of the company’s knowledge to benefit from the experiences and insights that the company has captured during its existence.
The increasing power of data mining has caused concerns for many, especially in the area of privacy. It is becoming easier in today’s digital world than ever to take data from disparate sources and combine them to do new forms of analysis. In fact, a whole industry has sprung up around this technology: data brokers. These firms combine publicly accessible data with information obtained from the government and other sources to create vast warehouses of data about people and companies that they can then sell. This subject will be covered in detail in chapter 12 – the chapter on the ethical concerns of information systems.