In the society we live in, the constant cycle of data and information is prominent. One must have a proper understanding of the two topics. A common misconception in society is that these two topics are the same, but that is definitely not the case. These two topics are intertwined, but their meanings are quite different, as are their uses.
Data can be simply known as a set of raw and unprocessed facts. It may represent a single value or multiple values at a time, usually describing something in the real world. The issue with raw facts is that they cannot be used in decision making.
Ex: – Company – Date of birth of an employee
School – Marks a student got for an exam
Data can also be divided into two, Quantitative and Qualitative.
- Quantitative data – simply put, numerical data acquired through counting or measuring.
Ex: – Monthly income of an employee
- Qualitative data – This form cannot be measured or counted but can be identified due to its unique characteristics.
Ex: – Goodwill of an organization
Types of data:
A few data types of data have been introduced to make their representation easier for human processing. Given below are the main types of data.
- Alphanumeric – Numbers, letters and other characters
- Images – Graphic, image and pictures
- Audio – Sounds and noises
- Video – Images and pictures in motion
What is information?
As mentioned, it is pretty confusing to differentiate data and information. Information is processed data which can be used for decision making. This is what mainly sets the two apart.
Ex:- The math marks of a student out of context have no meaning, but when compared with the math marks of other students, the average mark can be found.
Data can be converted into information by carrying out a series of activities on them like mathematical and tabulation operations.
Characteristics of quality information
There are a set of characteristics that we can use to determine the value and quality of information
All in all, data and information are essential factors in day to day lives, so having a proper understanding of these topics will go a long way.