The differences between data, information, knowledge, and wisdom can be framed by analyzing their definitions. Data is referred to as raw fact. Through the application of knowledge, the data or knowledge which is made functional is referred to as information. It is data that is structured, organized and interpreted. The understanding and awareness of a collection of information and methods through which that particular information can be made useful in order to provide support in arriving at a decision or to a particular task are referred to as knowledge. Knowledge is a kind of information that is synthesized in order to formalize and identify relationships. Knowledge which is translated into actions or applied in a practical manner is referred to as wisdom. To exercise sound judgment in practical concerns, the experience and knowledge are used by wisdom to heighten insight and common sense.
The human responses to potential or actual health issues are the main focus of nursing. The cognitive skills to interpret, analyze, collect and observe data must be possessed by nurses in order to form the basis of a decision. The basis of nursing practice science is formed through the steps of acting with wisdom, applying knowledge to an issue and utilizing information. Information and data are acquired in pieces and bits and then it is transformed into knowledge. To support and inform that particular practice, technology and informatics must be used by all nurses regardless of the practice arena.
Actions directed by wisdom are expected in the practice of nursing science. The habit of rebuilding and building the foundation of knowledge regarding nursing science must be developed by nurse educators in order to be effective. As research studies are conducted and designed by nurse researchers, therefore, new knowledge must be processed and acquired by them. The processing and structuring of information regarding patients must be the main focus of nursing informatics research. New avenues for disseminating, generating, processing and acquiring knowledge can get opened with the increasing use of technology to enhance nursing research, education, and practice.