Understand DIKW pyramid

DIKW is an important concept of knowledge management. DIWK stands for



D = Data
I = Information
K = Knowledge
W = Wisdom

DIKW sometimes also referenced as “Wisdom Hierarchy”, “Knowledge Hierarchy/Pyramid”, “Information Hierarchy”. DIWK pyramid consists of data, information, knowledge, wisdom. All the elements of DIKW are interdependent. It comes in the hierarchy where data come first and becomes information and information become knowledge and knowledge becomes wisdom.

Data, information, and knowledge are the result of the past and present whereas wisdom generates the result for the future.


Data consist of facts, signals, and symbols. Data is basically coming in a raw format. It doesn’t consist any meaning but it helps to generate information.


Data becomes Information when it can be viewed in a specific context. Data provides answers to “who”, “what”, “where”, and “when” questions.


Knowledge is the application of data and information. Knowledge answers all the “how” questions answers. Knowledge combines information with experience and can be used as a basis for decision-making or taking an action.


There is an another element of knowledge management which comes between the knowledge and wisdom. It answers all the “why” questions.


Wisdom is the ability to increase the effectiveness of information. Wisdom adds value, which requires the mental function that we call judgment. it evaluated understanding.

Let me explain all the elements with simple real world example.
When Government wants to prepare the census report. The Government employees collect the data, after processing the data we get the information then from the information we get the knowledge of the population and from the knowledge we get the wisdom.