The knowledge pyramid: The dikw hierarchyt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The data-information-knowledge-wisdom (DIKW) hierarchy or pyramid is a model or construct that has been used widely within information science and knowledge management. The nature of the pyramid is explained, and its historical origin is described. The conceptual components of the pyramid-i.e. data, information, knowledge, and wisdom-are given brief explication. Some modern developments, criticisms, and re-buttals of the DIKW Pyramid are described. Nowadays, the DIKW Pyramid would generally be considered to be unsatisfactory. The arguments and reasoning behind this conclusion are sketched. It is claimed that two more concepts, document and sign, are necessary to provide a fruitful theoretical frame for knowledge organkation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalKnowledge Organization
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Data
  • Information
  • Knowledge
  • Wisdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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