DIKW: How it works and why it’s important

How the DIKW pyramid works, how Information Security uses it, and how important it is.

With the growing amount of data produced by our connected world, it is a challenge to give meaning and relevance to so much information.

DIKW (Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom) represents a knowledge pyramid where each level of hierarchy adds attributes, and therefore value, over the previous one.

DIKW - Data Information Knowledge Wisdom
DIKW Pyramid


Data can be classified as a set of numbers, words, or images. Such as personal data, location data, etc.

Information is the structuring of the data to convey meaning. We obtain information by analyzing data.

Knowledge is a set of information that has an applied context, providing a greater view of the environment.

Wisdom uses knowledge for decision making.


DIKW in practice:

Imagine that you are driving in a place you have never been.  If someone simply says to you the word “red,” this data has no meaning. (data).

Advancing a bit in the pyramid, you are now warned that a traffic light is red. Now you have a piece of information, but it is still out of context. (information).

Then you get an alert that, right in front of you, there is a traffic light, and it is red.  At that moment your information was contextualized. (knowledge).

Now you understand that you need to brake and stop the car when you see the red light. (wisdom).

In conclusion

This is how we understand the importance of our data in our current environment. Well-analyzed information can ease decision making at the executive and strategic level of large corporations.

Information Security aims to maintain the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of data within the organization, ensuring that it is protected from unauthorized use or access, and it is prepared to develop policies and rules, as well as to ensure that the company’s processes comply with those rules.

It is important to establish and maintain good information security practices, and to protect data on and off the Internet.


By Alvaro Santana – Information Security Analyst


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