The generation and transformation of data into information and knowledge is a basic formula in health informatics. This process is often represented in a model that portrays each component hierarchically with data at the bottom followed by an intermediary layer of information and topped by the knowledge layer. This model is a simple way to conceptualize important components of the informatics process, but it also has major limitations. The capture of data does not lead seamlessly to information or knowledge. The process is much more complex involving a multi-faceted web of interactions and issues.