Data and information— are there any differences between them?

Data and information— are there any differences between them

Data and Information are two distinct terms that are often used interchangeably. However, they do not have the same meaning. Information depends on data but data doesn’t depend on information. How? Continue reading…

So what is Data?

Data is raw facts which have not be organized to be presented or interpreted so we could make a meaningful understanding from it. Data can be numbers, words, alphabets, symbols, images or a meaningless statement. Data does not express a complete thought or a meaningful understanding. This is in the sense that data should be further interpreted.

xample of Data; — “1, 24, Rose, New York”. When you see a statement like “1, 24, Rose, New York”, what comes to your mind? Are you sure what you are thinking about is what “1, 24, Rose, New York” actually means? You cannot be sure. This is because “1, 24, Rose, New York” is a data. It has no meaning. The 1 can be a street address or the 1st day of the week. 24 can be order number or age. Rose can refer to a flower or a lady’s name and New York can mean New York State or Government of New York City or simply a City in New York State. Have you seen the confusion? Even after knowing what “1, 24, Rose, New York” could mean, it still doesn’t make sense. This is what we call data.

Now, what is information?

As I pointed out earlier on, information depends on data. There won’t be information if we don’t have data. Information is an organized and interpreted data. Let’s take our initial example,“1, 24, Rose, New York”. This can be organized and interpreted as “the person in line 1 is 24 years old, her name is Rose and she comes from New York — a City in New York State”. This is an interpreted data. You now understand what “1, 24, Rose, New York” has been interpreted to mean. This is what we call information. Thus, making sense out of data. We use information to make informed decisions. Understand this concept and wherever you meet data and information, you can explain clearly to anyone in any field of work.