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The Origin of Data Information Knowledge Wisdom (DIKW) Hierarchy



The Data Information Knowledge and Wisdom Hierarchy (DIKW) has been gaining popularity in many domains. While there has been a lot of articulation of the hierarchy itself, the origins of this ubiquitous and frequently used hierarchy are largely unexplored. In this short piece we trace the trails of this hierarchy. Like an urban legend, it’s everywhere yet few know where it came from.
1. Russell.L.Ackoff,“FromDatatoWisdom,”JournalofAppliedSystemsAnalysis16(1989):
2. MilanZeleny,“ManagementSupportSystems:TowardsIntegratedKnowledgeManagement,”
3. M.Cooley,ArchitectureorBee?(London:TheHogarthPress,1987).
4. HarlandCleveland,“InformationasResource,”TheFuturist,December1982,3439.
5. T.S.Eliot,TheRock(Faber&Faber1934).
6. FrankZappa,“PackardGoose”inalbumJoe’sGarage:ActII&III(TowerRecords,1979).
... Wisdom [52] is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. It is also the ability to guess where your action will take you and consequences of your decision. ...
... Not so for effectiveness. A judgment of the value of an act is never independent of the judge, and seldom is the same for two judges [52]. ...
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Humans are thought of as predictably irrational, primarily due to apparent inconsistencies in their decision-making. When presented with the same information on different occasions, the same people often draw different conclusions. There is a noise in the decision-making of individuals, whether in the same or a different environment. Humans are likened to a faulty scale; every time you weigh the same thing you get a different answer. This variation is more pronounced when we examine decisions by different decision-makers. Noise in decisions implies that humans' internal gauges are imprecise and that their dial rests on a different position when confronted with the same choice at different times. Decision errors can relate to; correlation, causal reasoning, probabilistic reasoning, thinking statistically, hypothetical thought, dubious justification, not seeing everything, and even seeing something which is not there. This part of this series of papers attempts to clarify errors in engineers' decision-making processes and describe how to avoid them.
... The main reason the wars are no longer fought is that the main protagonists have tired of the battle or have agreed to disagree, not that they have agreed on a consistent definition 11. Firestone, J. 2004 Ackoff's (1989) DIKW hierarchy, as elucidated on the Web by Sharma (2008) and Bellinger et al. (2004). ...
... play, "The Rock" appears to have been the original source for the DIKW hierarchy(Sharma 2008; Kaminski 2001):TheEagle soars in the summit of Heaven, ... The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit. O perpetual revolution of configured stars, O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons, O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying! ...
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An extract from my unfinished book, Application Holy Wars or a New Reformation - A Fugue on the Theory of Knowledge (Rev. 26/4/2014) William P Hall (Kororoit Institute)
... Transport network data is well suited to graph-based representation, and this approach is widely used for modelling transport networks of all types. In STUB, we propose to go further than a simple graph representation, by using a linked data approach to capture not just the raw data but, but also derived contextual information; the relationship between data, information and inferred knowledge, as first presented by Sharma [30]. ...
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Transport ticketing systems are crucial for enabling seamless, efficient, and sustainable mobility. However, traditional ticketing systems face limitations such as ticket fraud, lack of interoperability, and the inability to adapt to changes in the dynamic transport networks they issue tickets for. This paper presents new approaches to the System for Ticketing Ubiquity with Blockchain (STUB), a novel smart transport ticketing solution that employs ontochains, a hybrid data structure combining blockchains and ontologies. STUB aims to address these limitations by providing a secure, transparent, and flexible platform for ticket issuance, validation, and management. We describe the key components and workflow of the STUB system , highlighting the use of Transport Network Ontologies (TOnNes) for modelling complex relationships within transportation systems and blockchain technologies for ensuring secure and tamper-proof transactions to record changes to the TOnNe's state. Additionally, we discuss the implementation of Merkle proofs for efficient and secure validation between on-chain and off-chain ontological data. The proposed STUB system has the potential to significantly impact the future of transportation ticketing by offering a more seamless, interoperable, and user-friendly experience whilst addressing the challenges associated with traditional ticketing systems.
... According to "Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom" (DIKW Pyramid), the data is mixed, unstructured and somehow hardly has meaning as it could be random numbers, letters, or symbols. On the other hand, information is known as organized data which has value and importance to certain people or organizations (Sharma, N. 2008;Frické, M. 2009). In other words, information is commonly understood as "processed data" or "data that has meaning." ...
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This paper aims to summarize the developments of previous studies done in Information Overload fields in the past five years and gives a prospect to future research in this field using the systematic literature review method. The results show very limitedly and low publication activity has been done in the area of information overload with Online Distance Learners. It is anticipated that this paper will trigger further studies that could focus on the impact of information overload on education fields. Keywords: Information Overload; Distance Learners; Online Learning; Systematic Literature Review. eISSN: 2398-4287 © 2022. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA cE-Bs by E-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open-access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( Peer-review under the responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behavior Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioral Researchers on Asians), and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behavior Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
... This covers KM processes and fulfillment with inter-relations relating to KM (Chou et al., 2005;Chatzoudes et al., 2015). A few scholars established the impact of processes of KM on worker's fulfillment directly and indirectly (Lim et al., 1999;Sharma, 2008;Bontis and Serenko, 2009;Singh and Sharma, 2011). ...
Purpose The study explores the impact of knowledge management (KM) enablers, i.e. trust and organizational climate, on KM processes. The study further observes the indirect relationship of KM processes on organizational performance via the mediating role of knowledge workers' satisfaction in cross-cultural settings. Design/methodology/approach This research used a survey of 784 educational and administrative personnel from higher education institutions (HEIs) in Pakistan and China. Smart Partial Least Square (PLS) 3.2.9 was employed to perform the analysis. Findings The result shows that trust and organizational climate influences KM processes, and these KM processes, in turn, impact organizational performance via the partial mediating effect of knowledge worker satisfaction (KWS) in Pakistan. The multi-group analysis confirmed the substantial differential effect of KM processes on KWS in culturally different HEIs. At the same time, the study's overall sample substantiated full mediation in China. Furthermore, the impact of KM processes on organizational performance did not substantiate in China. Practical implications Outcomes of this research affirm KM university practice and recommend how higher education academics and administrators prioritize trust, organizational climate, KM processes, and KWS while strengthening organizational performance in a culturally different environment. Originality/value A lack of research ascertains the inter-relationship between trust, organizational climate, KM processes, KWS, and organizational performance in culturally different environments. This is one of the initial studies that examine the relationship between trust, organizational climate, KM processes, KWS, and organizational performance in HEIs. The study empirically examines the inter-relationships among these variables and enlightens insights into the current literature by immediately investigating the mediating role of KWS in culturally different environments.
... Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? -T. S. Eliot (2014) The above quote from T.S. Eliot is one of the earliest sources that inspire the famous Data̸ =Information̸ =Knowledge̸ =Wisdom model (DIKW) -a framework that draws distinctions and defines relationships between the concepts of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom (Sharma, 2008). While the DIKW model is tossed around in the context of business administration, distinguishing between information and knowledge is also important for the scientific study of information-seeking. ...
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Intrinsic motivation – the desire to do things for their inherent joy and pleasure – has received its first share of scientific attention over 70years ago, ever since we saw monkeys solving puzzles for free. Since then, research on intrinsic motivation has been steadily gaining momentum. We have come to understand, in the context of learning and discovery, that intrinsic motivation (namely, intrinsically motivated information-seeking) is foundational for the biological and technological success of our species. But where does intrinsic motivation to learn and seek information come from? Today, with the thriving synergy between perpetually advancing fields of psychology, neuroscience, and computer science, we are well positioned to investigate this question. The Learning Progress Hypothesis (LPH) proposes that humans are motivated by feelings of and/or beliefs about progress in knowledge (including progress in competence). In artificial learners, progressbased intrinsic motivation enables autonomous exploration of the environment (including the agent’s own body), resulting in better performance, more efficient learning, and richer skill sets. Due to similar computational challenges facing artificial and biological learners, researchers have proposed that progress-based intrinsic motivation might have evolved in humans to help us transition from babies with few skills and little knowledge to knowledgeable grownups capable of performing many sophisticated tasks. The Learning Progress Hypothesis (LPH) is attractive, not only because it is consistent with several studies of human curiosity, but also because it resonates with existing theories on metacognitive self-regulation in learning. However, the LPH has not been extensively studied using behavioral experimentation.This thesis provides an empirical examination of the LPH. We introduce a novel experimental paradigm where participants explore multiple learning activities, some easy, others difficult. The activities involve guessing the binary category of randomly presented stimuli. To let their intrinsic motivation shine, we did not provide any material incentives encouraging specific behaviors or strategies – we simply observed which activities people engaged in and how their knowledge about these activities unfolded over time. We present statistical analyses and a computational model that support the LPH.This thesis also suggests ideas for future investigations into progressbased motivation. These ideas are inspired by a pilot study in which we asked participants to practice a naturalistic sensorimotor skill (a video game) over the course of 3 sessions spanning 5 days. [...]We conclude the thesis with an extended discussion of our findings, where we examine some limitations of our experiments and propose promising future steps. In summary, we believe the behavioral paradigms introduced in this thesis should be reused to not only replicate our results, but also to advance the scientific research of intrinsically motivated information-seeking.
... Elle est souvent désignée par DIKW (Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom) (Rowley, 2007) (Ackoff, 1989). Selon (Sharma, 2008), ce modèle tient son origine improbable dans la poésie. ...
La recherche biomédicale se caractérise par des évolutions fréquentes de méthodes, de types de données et de personnel. Il en résulte une hétérogénéité importante des données de recherche : multisources, multimodales, pluridisciplinaires, multisites, etc. L’hétérogénéité freine le partage et la réutilisation de données scientifiques puisque la confiance dans celles-ci et leur compréhension sont en jeu. Pour améliorer la confiance dans les données, nous avons appliqué aux études de recherche biomédicale le paradigme de gestion du cycle de vie, basé sur une solution de « Product Lifecycle Management » (PLM) qui a son origine dans l’industrie manufacturière. Ainsi, nous proposons une démarche de gestion de données, avec un maximum de traçabilité de la provenance des données, tout au long du cycle de vie d’une étude de recherche biomédicale. Quant à l’amélioration de la compréhension des données, nous nous sommes focalisés sur la mise en place d’une interopérabilité sémantique entre les terminologies vernaculaires utilisées par les équipes de recherche d’un côté, et les standards, terminologies et ontologies (i.e. Systèmes d’Organisation de Connaissances (KOS)) publiées et reconnues par la communauté, de l’autre côté. Nous avons conduit nos recherches dans le Laboratoire de Recherche en Imagerie (LRI), spécialisé en recherche préclinique sur le petit animal, du centre de recherche PARCC. Le résultat est une ontologie multi-niveaux implémentée sur un système de BMS-LM (pour BioMedical Study – Lifecycle Management par analogie au PLM). Pour valider notre proposition, nous avons procédé à l’intégration des données et calculs scientifiques du laboratoire LRI dans le système BMS-LM. Nous avons appliqué nos méthodes à (1) des données issues de modalités différentes (TEP-TDM, Histologie, Protéomique) et (2) deux calculs scientifiques au laboratoire LRI : un premier pour la quantification de tissues histologiques et un deuxième pour l’analyse de la Réponse Impulsionnelle (RI) du coeur en imagerie TEP-TDM.
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This paper discusses the concept of data and information and highlights the problems associated with their usage in healthcare. While data refers to facts and statistics collected for reference or analysis, information includes the context provided to data to gain meaning. Healthcare professionals use the information obtained from data to improve patients' health status and satisfaction. Nevertheless, the value of information depends on the data and how it is presented. As a result, many problems can arise in the collection and processing of data and the provision of information. In this paper, these are called data and information problems. One possible approach to reduce such problems in the future could be to use creative methods. To initially address this idea, exemplary keyword research was carried out, and examples are presented in this paper.
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In the emerging post-industrial society, there is little understanding of the characteristics of information, a basic, yet abstract resource. Information is expandable, compressible, substitutable, transportable, diffusive, and shareable. Implications for life, work, community, and conflict are considered. (AM)
Humans do not apply formalistic scaffolds of fixed rules of ‘knowledge’ to integrate the a priori given objective world of data ‘out there’: they do not compute the world. Regardless of some ‘knowledge’-modeling assumptions, just the opposite is true: humans use their subjectively perceived world of turbulent circumstances to bring forth (create, recreate and adapt), again and again, knowledge as an autopoietic network of relations through which they coordinate their actions. Such knowledge brings (through language) coherence and coordination to the otherwise turbulent and chaotic world of human action. Knowledge is not ‘processing of information’ but a coordination of action. As a consequence, any management support system (DSS, AI, ES, etc.) claiming knowledge as its purpose or its base, cannot be of the symbolic computation type à la Simon.
Architecture or Bee?
  • M Cooley
M. Cooley, Architecture or Bee? (London: The Hogarth Press, 1987).
The Rock (Faber & Faber
  • T S Eliot
T.S. Eliot, The Rock (Faber & Faber 1934).
User Experience Researcher
  • Nikhil Sharma
Nikhil Sharma, User Experience Researcher, Google Inc. (nsharma AT umich DOT edu)