A participant on the Act-KM mailing list came up with this analogy for the data-information-knowledge-wisdom (DIKW) hierarchy:
When we talk of D-I-K, the Ice-Water-Steam analogy may be useful.
It is basically the same chemical composition of H20 but they are in
various states - solid, liquid and gaseous. In each change of state,
lots of energy is involved. The physical properties could not be more
Of course, this analogy breaks down with too much study, but that is fine. Analogies aren't supposed to be simulacra - they are supposed to highlight a specific feature of reality.