1.4 The Knowledge Level of the DIKW Pyramid

Topic Summary

In this topic, we talk about the difference between information and knowledge, and we discuss how to convert information into knowledge by linking it together with other pieces of information. Simply knowing one piece of information often leaves us wondering “So what?” You may have converted your checking account data into information about how much you spent on food last month, but until you compare this number with how much you spent on food in other months, or how much you spend on other things like rent or entertainment, then it’s not very actionable.

Key Points to Remember

Here are some important questions we can ask if we want to convert information into knowledge:

  1. What is the context of the data?
  2. How was it collected, by whom, and for what purpose?
  3. With what is the information associated?
  4. What comparisons can we make to help us better grasp the relevance of the data?

Definitions

  • knowledge, noun – the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association

Diagrams

1.4 The Knowledge Level of the DIKW Pyramid | Data Literacy  

Knowledge: the third level of the DIKW Pyramid

1.4 The Knowledge Level of the DIKW Pyramid | Data Literacy  

Association is the difference between information and knowledge

Exercises

Exercise 1.4.Take the information from Exercise 1.3 that you extracted from your chosen data source, and ask yourself what knowledge you have gleaned from that. List any associations with other information or experiences that you needed to make in order to turn that information into knowledge.

  • Knowledge gleaned:
  • Helpful associations:

Quotes

“Without context, a piece of information is just a dot. It floats in your brain with a lot other dots and doesn’t mean a damn thing. Knowledge is information-in-context – connecting the dots.”

Michael Ventura

Further Reading