The Wisdom Hierarchy

There are four levels of content that you often communicate in the workplace.  These levels are data, information, knowledge, and wisdom.  Learn how each of these levels works, what each level accomplishes, and how to transition from one tier to another.  Employees and managers alike can use this hierarchy to better communicate needs and expectations.


· What are the levels of content or messaging in the workplace?

· How is data different from information?

· How do I communicate knowledge?

· How can I transfer knowledge in an organization?

· Why is having clear expectations important?


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Data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. Those are the four tiers of material that you’ll be asked to communicate in the workplace. So when you’re asked to perform a task, you need to decide what level you need to communicate to your team, to your coworkers, and to your superiors.

At the bottom level of this wisdom hierarchy, you have data. That’s the basic numbers and the basic tidbits that you need to gather in order to start understanding a topic, to start the decision-making process.

If you move up in the hierarchy to information, this is where the data, those numbers, actually start to become more tangible. They start to be organized around facts and even around themes. That can help lead to more effective decision-making.

Once you have the data translated into information, you can up the level to knowledge. Once you get to knowledge, you’re actually getting this data and information not only in themes, but in a way that makes sense as a whole and shows how it affects your company.

Finally the fourth tier, wisdom, means you have it down, you have it understood, and you can communicate it effectively.


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