4 Steps to Achieving Wisdom You Can Use at Work Today

Posted by Jesse Spencer on November 22, 2019
Jesse Spencer
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Increase wisdom by learning how to create knowledge.

There is a logical hierarchy for transforming data into wisdom. Understand each step to become not just smarter, but wiser.

I’m going to show you the relationship between 4 steps: data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. We’ll use the example of buying software.

To make the purchase decision, you go through a process of transforming various inputs from multiple sources into a clear, commonsense judgement. The better your process, the better your decision.

In fact, by learning how to create knowledge, you add even more value to decisions.

Let’s divide the purchasing decision into the 4 stages – data, information, knowledge, and wisdom.

Data Wisdom Pyramid

Data

Data is a collection of discrete facts about events. It is always the starting point to achieving wisdom. Think of raw numbers and text that represent a software’s capabilities or features. Or imagine stacks of unorganized paper containing logging or measurement information. Raw data by itself doesn’t provide meaningful information.

Information

Information is data with context. Who, what, when, and where questions turn data into information. Knowing what event a date represents, that a string of digits is an invoice or account number, and understanding that a string of words represents a particular clause in a contract is information. Understanding the meaning of data is information. Information is one of the core elements of Information as a Second Language and business-driven analytics.

Knowledge

Knowledge comes from your experiences, ideas, insights, values, and beliefs. By evaluating information, data becomes knowledge. In the case of purchasing software, armed with knowledge, you will understand how particular features help solve a problem. 

Asking deeper “how” questions like “How is this information relevant to other core objectives?” provides additional layers of knowledge. Think of knowledge as the connections and relationships between different pieces of information. Maximizing knowledge is entirely based on piecing together more information.

More data = More information = More knowledge = Better decision-making capability

Wisdom

When you decide what software to purchase, you’ve applied and implemented the knowledge you’ve gained. The deeper your knowledge, the better your decision will be. Wisdom is essentially the ability to make a strong commonsense judgement and back it up with solid reasoning. 

Topics: Information as a Second Language, Popular

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