Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom

The May 2001 Project Management Institute (PMI) newsletter offered these explanations on the differences between data, information, knowledge, and wisdom:

Data: Factual material such as measurements and statistics, frequently quantifiable.

Information: Data endowed with meaning and purpose, which may differ according to individual interpretation.

Knowledge: Understanding of a science, art, or technique, which is gained from study, experience, or association.

Wisdom: Use of knowledge, with ability to discern inner qualities and relationships and make sound judgments and decisions.

The Guidance document on Terminology used in ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 9004:2000 defines “data” as facts, especially numerical facts, collected together for reference or information. It does not offer definitions for information, knowledge, or wisdom.