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What is the difference between Data and Information?

What is the difference between Data and Information?

In this post, we will be investigating the difference between data and information. We will also analyze how data can be converted to the information using the data processing cycle.

The terms “data” and “information” are often used interchangeably, but they are not really same thing. These are subtle differences between these components and their purpose.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the difference between data and information.

What is Data?

Data can be defined as formal representations of facts, concepts, or instructions methods suitable for human communication, interpretation, or processing or electronics. In simpler words, data is the collection of individual facts or statistics.

Data is the raw form of knowledge and has no meaning or purpose in and of itself. In other words, we need to interpret the data to make it meaningful. Data can be simple and even seem useless until analyzed, organized and interpreted.

Data may be in the form of text, observations, numbers, images, numbers, graphics, or symbols. It can include, for example, individual price, weight, address, age, name, temperature, etc.

There are two main types of data:

  1. Quantitative Data : It is provided in numerical form, such as item weight, volume, or cost.
  2. Qualitative Data : It is descriptive, but not numerical, such as person’s name, gender, or eye color.

What is Information?

Information is organized or categorized data that has some meaningful value to the recipient or receiver. In simpler words, information is the processed data on which decisions and actions are based.

Information is defined as knowledge obtained through research, communication, or education. It is basically the result of analyzing and interpreting data. Data is the individual numbers, or graphs, but information is the perception of these units of knowledge.

For decisions to be meaningful, the processed data must meet the following requirements/properties.

  1. Timely : It should be available when you need it.
  2. Accuracy : It must be accurate.
  3. Completeness : It must be complete.

Data Processing Cycle

Data processing is the reconstruction or rearrangement of data by humans or machines in order to increase its usefulness and add value for a specific purpose. It consists of the following basic steps; input, processing, and output which combiningly form a data processing cycle.

  1. input : In this step the input data is prepared in a format suitable for processing. The shape varies depending on the processing machine. For example, when using a electronic computer, input data can be recorded on various types of input media, such as magnetic disks and tapes.
  2. Processing : This step modifies the input data to produce more useful data. For example, we can calculate salaries from timecards or sales for the month from sales orders.
  3. Output : This stage collects the results of the previous processing steps. The specific format of the output data depends on the intended use of the data. For example, output data maybe employee salaries.

Difference between Data and Information

1. It is the input language for the computer.1. It is the output language for the human.
2. It is the collection of facts and figures.2. It is the collection of final result.
3. It needs processing.3. It does not need processing.
4. It does not depend on information.4. It depends on data without data, information cannot be processed.
5. It is not specific.5. It is specific enough to generate meaning.
6. It is the raw material that is collected.6. It is a detailed meaning generated from the data.
7. It is not meaningful.7. It is meaningful.
8. It is normally huge in its volume.8. It is normally short in its volume.
9. It is the asset of organizations and is not available to people for sale.9. It is normally available to people for sale.
10. It is difficult or even impossible to reproduce, in case of data lost.10. It is easier to reproduce, in case of information lost.
11. It is not enough to make decisions.11. It is sufficient to make decisions.
12. For example, 2807199412. For example, 28/09/1994 is the date of birth.

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