What is the Difference Between Data And Information?
We generate around 328.77 million terabytes of data daily, and almost every day, millions of people are at stake because they are sharing valuable information with people knowingly or unknowingly. Using electronic gadgets and surfing the internet since childhood and yet needing clarification on the two terms: data and information? Nothing to worry about. Though these words find interchangeable usage among common people, they are different. Understanding the data and information differences is highly important to decide what to share with others wisely. This article will tell us Data vs Information – major differences between the two!
Table of contents
What is Data?
Data is an unsystematic or nonspecific description awaiting processing. Being unorganized, combining observations, numbers, images, symbols, facts, characters, and other entities requires interpretation via humans or machines to derive meaning and proper usage.
What is Information?
The output of processed data varies on the purpose of usage and environment, which is collectively termed as information. It is the structured and processed facts imparting meaning and sense and is ready to use. It might involve raw data manipulation during processing to improve reliability, connection, and logic.
Data vs Information: What is the Difference between Data and Information?
|Composition||Numbers, character sets, letters||Inference, results, ideas|
|About||Qualitative and quantitative collection of variables||Logical interpretation of data obtained after processing|
|Available format||Graph, table, data tree and others||Sentences and presentations portraying thoughts and ideas|
|Dependence||Independent||Dependent on data|
|Public usage||Not Permitted||Available for sale|
|Knowledge level||Low level||High (second level)|
|Usage||No direct use||Only after data processing|
|Role||Not enough for decision-making||Decisions are made based on information|
|Reliability||Over data source (considered unreliable)||Over processor who interprets the information|
|Specificity||Unspecific||Specific according to the requirement|
|Measuring units||Bits and bytes||Time, quantity, and others|
|Example number||Single test score||An average test score of a student|
Understanding Data vs Information with Examples
Using the simple number 100, we can define and understand data and information differences. The number 100 is data that does not indicate any sense, context or relation. However, on data processing when we add the word ‘miles.’ Thus, 100 miles becomes an information.
Taking another example, the following statement will be considered data:
Courses, placements, data science, excel, mentorship, career,
When combining it into meaningful information, it will look as follows:
Another example to show difference between data and information – Consider a dataset containing a list of numbers: 2, 5, 7, 10, 3. This collection of numbers represents data. However, without any further context or interpretation, it doesn’t convey any specific meaning or provide actionable insights.
Now, let’s process and organize this data. If we calculate the average of these numbers and label it as “Average score,” we have transformed the data into information. The information “Average score is 5.4” provides meaningful insights and allows for better understanding or decision-making.
How Businesses Can Leverage Data and Information?
Data and information are the driving factors of businesses, helping them reach their goals and fulfill their objectives. They support them in decision-making. Being directly collected from the company, these are processed by the employees depending on the specific usage. Optimized storage and usage must undergo practices to leverage the data and information for efficient business functionality accompanied by smarter and swift decisions.
The next step is to create information from data depending on specific usage and requirement. Working on the same data redundantly, which might require repetitive or related information, leads to time wastage, lack of accuracy and reliability, and reduced efficiency. Instead, a centralized database will act with efficacy as a solution to the problem.
We hope now you know how different data and information are! If someone misuses these terms near you, try to correct them. Want to learn more about Data and career options in this field? Explore our free data science course and learn more about the field.
Frequently Asked Questions
A. Companies collect the data through different modes, such as online and offline. Regardless of the type of data collection, it can be converted into digital format for better storage, processing, manipulation and interpretation of data. Whereas, information is an interpretation of data that is convenient with online storage.
A. Some commonly used tools include Board, Dundas BI, Sisense, Microstrategy and many more.
A. Data collection happens through various sources such as surveys, observations, experiments, sensors, websites, digital interactions and other methods. Depending on the data collection source, it is classified into primary and secondary data. The data collection can be technology-driven, automatic, or manual. Users generate around 70% of the world’s data.
A. Data and information security are crucial parts of any organization. Numerous laws are meant to protect the data, thus making it important. Several measures allow data protection, such as encryption, secure network infrastructure, access controls, regular backups and other related options. These protect sensitive data from breaches, data loss and theft. Around 81% of the users are aware of the risks and benefits of data collection.
A. File processing or system refers to management and data organization on a storage medium such as a hard disk or computer. DBMS or Database Management System is representative of software to retrieve and store the user’s data with efficient security and data processing. The file processing could be more efficient, less secure, and comprises redundant data.