This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

WIKID - data, information, knowledge

In the current AOK STAR Series with Melissie Rumizen, Bill Hall made an excellent contribution to my understanding of the data-information-knowledge issue that gets discussed in KM circles. Fortunately, he also pointed to a web reference of the material from 1998. I've seen some versions of this before - that talk about getting from one level to the next as transformations, but this one seems to be more complete.


The relationships showing how information is transformed from data to wisdom and power, is represented by the acronym ' WIKID Power'. The WIKID Power transformation hierarchy (developed by Ian Coombe) is applicable to electronic, physical and human media.

Data: "Symbols without specific meaning." Data is the most basic elemental level.

Information: "Data in context to convey meaning." Information = data context. Databases only store information when relationships are described between fields of a record.

Knowledge: "Assimilated information." Knowledge = information assimilation. Knowledge includes experience. Knowledge is a part of an object such as a computer or a person.

Intelligence: "Assessed deductions from combined knowledge." Intelligence = knowledge assessment. Intelligence, with uncertainty, is deduced after several pieces of knowledge are assessed together,. Additional knowledge is added and assessed until the level of uncertainty is acceptable.

Wisdom: "Application of intelligence through decisions." Wisdom = intelligence application. Intelligence is of no practical use unless applied by making a decision for action - thus wisdom.

Power: "The ability to use wisdom to influence a situation through action." Power = wisdom influence. Wisdom does not lead to power unless it is actioned and influences the situation. Efficiency is key if power is to lead to superiority. Efficiency is gained through ensuring information is accurate, timely and relevant.

Flow construction

Automating knowledge