Dee Hock on Noise, Data, Information, Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom

[Originally posted on March 13, 2006]
Linda Stone is perhaps most famous for coining the phrases “continuous partial attention” and “committed full-attention focus is the next aphrodisiac.” However, I’m especially grateful for her (hat tip to Nat on O’Reilly) pointing me to Dee Hock’s definitions of how information evolves:

Dee Hock [founder of Visa], back in 1996, said:
* Noise becomes data when it has a cognitive pattern.
* Data becomes information when assembled into a coherent whole, which can be related to other information.
* Information becomes knowledge when integrated with other information in a form useful for making decisions and determining actions.
* Knowledge becomes understanding when related to other knowledge in a manner useful in anticipating, judging and acting.
* Understanding becomes wisdom when informed by purpose, ethics, principles, memory and projection.