Data and Information | Meaning, Types, Qualities, Examples

Meaning of Data Data refers to raw facts or entities to which no meaning has been assigned, as they have not undergone any processing. It encompasses information about individuals, locations, objects, and their respective activities.   When data undergoes manipulation to organize and derive meaning or achieve a specific outcome, it is considered processed. The […]

Meaning of Data

Data refers to raw facts or entities to which no meaning has been assigned, as they have not undergone any processing. It encompasses information about individuals, locations, objects, and their respective activities.

 

When data undergoes manipulation to organize and derive meaning or achieve a specific outcome, it is considered processed. The outcome of processed data is termed INFORMATION.

 

Types of Data

Data can manifest in various forms:

  1. Symbols
  2. Alphanumeric
  3. Alphabetical
  4. Numeric

Data can be collected through methods such as counting using counters, observing people, activities, transactions, or events, administering questionnaires, conducting face-to-face interviews, and form filling.

 

Information

Information is defined as any factual piece of data or news discovered, heard, or communicated verbally, in writing, or through other means.

 

Difference Between Data And Information

Data and information are related but distinct concepts in the realm of computing and knowledge management:

1. Data
(a) Data refers to raw facts, figures, or symbols that represent something but do not carry any specific meaning on their own.
(b) It can be in the form of numbers, text, images, audio, or any other format.
(c) Data is typically unorganized and lacks context or interpretation.
(d) Examples of data include temperature readings, stock prices, sensor readings, etc.

2. Information
(a) Information is the result of processing, organizing, and interpreting data to make it meaningful and useful.
(b) It provides context, relevance, and significance to data.
(c) Information helps in making decisions, understanding situations, or solving problems.
(d) Information is structured and meaningful, providing insights or knowledge.
(e) For example, if you take temperature readings from various locations, organize them by date and time, and then analyze trends, you can derive information about weather patterns.

While data represents raw facts or observations, information is the processed and organized data that carries meaning and context, enabling understanding and decision-making.

 

Examples of Information

  1. Newspaper advertisements about job vacancies, such as an announcement for an experienced accountant needed for immediate employment.
  2. Zebra crossings provide information to road users, signaling them to stop for pedestrians crossing a busy road.
  3. Traffic lights, with green indicating “go,” red indicating “stop,” and orange indicating “get ready,” convey information to road users.

 

Qualities of Good Information

  1. Completeness for its intended purpose
  2. Relevance for its use
  3. Sufficiency and accuracy for its purpose
  4. Meaningfulness to the user
  5. User confidence in the information
  6. Manageable volume, and more.

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