Hey, J (2004) - The Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom Chain - The Metaphorical Chain

Hey, J (2004) - The Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom Chain - The Metaphorical Chain

This preview shows page 1 - 4 out of 18 pages.

Jonathan Hey December 2004 Instructors: Geoff Nunberg, Paul Duguid The Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom Chain: The Metaphorical link Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? T.S. Eliot, "The Rock", Faber & Faber 1934.
Image of page 1

Subscribe to view the full document.

° ±² ³´µ¶ · ±¸´¹ º ° ±² » ²°¸¼±½¾´·¸¿¿´¹µ ºº À ½¹¸°±¸¹ ± ²Á 2 Introduction It is hard to believe that T.S. Eliot could have anticipated the discussion that has continued from his poetic lines. Yet in relating wisdom to knowledge and knowledge to information he suggested a chain, a hierarchy, a distinct relationship between each of these concepts. This hierarchy also suggest that one can affect the other and even can be changed into another. These ideas have stuck and have been analyzed and discussed in many different forums since, including Al Gore’s Digital Earth in 1998 (Gore, 1998) discussing “turning raw data into understandable information.” Yet despite this wealth of analysis, the concepts themselves, not to mention the transitions between them still resist clear definition. Indeed, the very existence of the hierarchy itself is rarely questioned in current thinking on the topic despite the ‘fuzzy’ distinctions between each stage. The model clearly appears to have proved a both useful and enduring model in order to better understand the subtleties of these concepts. The origin of the DIKW (Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom) hierarchy is ably presented in Sharma (2004) highlighting the first appearances of the hierarchy in both the Knowledge Management and Information Science domains. Although references to the DIKW hierarchy were made by both Zeleny (1987) and Ackoff (1989) in the Knowledge Management domain, the closest reference to T.S. Eliot’s original hinting appeared in a Futurist article by Cleveland (1982). Conspicuously, data was not in the original information, knowledge, wisdom hierarchy suggested by Eliot or Harland but was added by others. Since then others have also proposed extensions to the ‘top half’ of the hierarchy; Ackoff includes understanding (and some use intelligence) as its own level before attaining wisdom, and Zeleny proposes enlightenment as the final stage beyond wisdom.
Image of page 2
° ±² ³´µ¶ · ±¸´¹ º ° ±² » ²°¸¼±½¾´·¸¿¿´¹µ ºº À ½¹¸°±¸¹ ± ²Á 3 The diagrams below show two views of the DIKW hierarchy. The first depicts it as a linear chain and the second as the ‘Knowledge Pyramid.’ I shall discuss the significance of these visual depictions later. Figure 1: One view of the DIKW hierarchy (Clark, 2004) DATA INFORMATION KNOWLEDGE WISDOM Figure 2: The Knowledge Pyramid What I hope to do in this short paper is apply metaphorical analysis to provide another perspective on these tricky concepts and in doing so clear up a little of the fuzziness that shrouds the transitions between these concepts and how we use them. We’ll look at whether it is indeed a chain or pyramid at all and the different ways we conceptualize the different parts of the chain.
Image of page 3

Subscribe to view the full document.

Image of page 4
  • Spring '16
  • Metaphor, Tacit knowledge, Paul Duguid

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern