Results of DIKW poll

December 4, 2007 by
Filed under: DIKW hierarchy, poll 

Thanks for your participation on the last Data Mining Research poll regarding the DIKW (Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom) hierarchy. 61 people answered to the poll. Here are the final results:

  • The hierarchy is fine since the terms used have always the same meaning nowadays then before: 13%

  • The hierarchy is fine, but the meaning or usage of terms should evolve (e.g. “information science” should be renamed “knowledge science”): 43%
  • The hierarchy should evolve since the meaning or usage of these terms have changed: 44%

First of all, there won’t be a second round, as it is for elections in France. Second, I am happy to see that not everybody has the same opinion on this question. It is not funny when everyone has the same opinion. As you may know from a previous post on Data Mining Research, I am in favor of the second choice. My main argument is that the meaning of these terms have changed, while, to my opinion, the DIKW hierarchy hasn’t.

In favor of these arguments, I can point out the work of Zins (1). In his article, Zins studies the DIKW hierarchy and its key terms. According to him Information Science should be renamed “Knowledge Science”. Zins also proposes a study of 130 definitions of “Data, Information and Knowledge” from the information science point of view (2).

This does not mean that Zins point of view is true. If you have arguments in favor of what is right according to you, feel free to post a comment. Especially people that have voted for the third choice, my question is: what do you think is a better hierarchy nowadays? You can post as anonymous if you want.

(1) Zins, C. (2006), Redefining information science: from information science to knowledge science, Journal of Documentation, 62(15):447-461.
(2) Zins, C. (2007), Conceptual approaches for defining data, information, and knowledge, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58(4):479-493.

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