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Understanding is the ability to comprehend something, including percieving its significance or the cause of something.

Russell L. Ackoff's view of understanding --

Understanding answers ""why"" questions. Understanding is contained in explanations. Understanding is required to determine the relevance of data and information, understanding why the situation is what it is and how its characteristics are causally related to objectives.

Understanding and knowledge is the ability to increase efficiency.

synthesis yields understanding. Understanding proceeds from the whole to its parts. Understanding increases by expanding the systems to be understood, not by reducing them to their elements.