Content Management Systems

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Content Management Systems for Construction Management

Content Management Systems for Construction Management


At the risk of stating the obvious, it could be said that a content management system is quite simply - a system that manages content. However, it is precisely the obviousness of what a CMS is and does, that has created a degree of confusion amongst 'would be' purchases of such a system. Wrapped up in a seemingly harmless statement is enough ambiguity to enable all kinds of products to masquerade as content management solutions. To fully understand what it is a CMS does, we have to first define a) what it is we are referring to when we talk about content b) what it is we understand under its management and c) what do we mean by a system. At the risk of sounding 'obvious', only when you know what content it is you want to manage can you 'filter' through the myriad of options that are available - and not be 'bamboozled' by sales speak into taking the wrong product.


Data, information, content and knowledge are terms often used as synonyms, but which actually have a precise meaning which distinguishes one from the other. In this paper we adopt the approach given by Boiko (2002) and the most commonly accepted definitions.

Data: small piece of information, without any “human” connotation (significance, context, etc.); it can be collected in file or stored in database. It is an elementary unit to be handled.

Information: any form of recorded communication, like any kind of text (articles, books, etc.), sounds (music, conversations, etc.), images (pictures, draws, etc.), movements (video, animations, etc.), computer files (Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, etc.), which can contain, at the same time, all or none of the “human” connotations. Therefore, just about anything can be considered information, including data. Information allows data to be interpreted and find hidden meanings and unexpected relations.

Content: information becomes content when it is used for one or more purposes. Its value is the sum of its primary form (information), application, usability, significance and uniqueness. It is information plus a layer of data that sets it in a specific context.

Knowledge: the state of mind of the person who owns information, not just a communication; it is the condition of knowing something with the confidence due to a practical experience.

Considering the four concepts as parts of a speech, data represent the single words, information is a sentence, content is the sentence in a specific context, knowledge is the state of mind of the person who has read or heard the sentence and has understood it. Speaking of information means that a person owns a concept to communicate, he transforms it in words, sounds or images through a creative and intellectual work, and records it on any support. The difference between data, information, content and knowledge is particularly important to understand the challenges of managing the content of an enterprise with ICT. For example, computers were built to process data and ...
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