data is conceived of as symbols or signs, representing stimuli or signals, that are "of no use until...in a usable (that is, relevant) form". Zeleny characterized this non-usable characteristic of data as "know-nothing".
In the context of DIKW, information meets the definition for knowledge by description ("information is contained in descriptions"), and is differentiated from data in that it is "useful". "Information is inferred from data", in the process of answering interrogative questions (e.g., "who", "what", "where", "how many", "when"), thereby making the data useful for "decisions and/or action". "Classically," states a recent text, "information is defined as data that are endowed with meaning and purpose.
Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, expert insight and grounded intuition that provides an environment and framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. It originates and is applied in the minds of knowers. In organizations it often becomes embedded not only in documents and repositories but also in organizational routines, processes, practices and norms.