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Data and Information
Usually, the terms “data” and “information” are used interchangeably. However, there is a subtle difference between the two.
In a nutshell, data can be a number, symbol, character, word, codes, graphs, etc. On the other hand, information is data put into context. Information is utilised by humans in some significant way (such as to make decisions, forecasts etc).
A basic example of information would be a computer. A computer uses programming scripts, formulas, or software applications to turn data into information.
Let us have a detailed look at the difference between data and information in a tabular column below:
Difference between Data and Information
|Data is unorganised and unrefined facts||Information comprises processed, organised data presented in a meaningful context|
|Data is an individual unit that contains raw materials which do not carry any specific meaning.||Information is a group of data that collectively carries a logical meaning.|
|Data doesn’t depend on information.||Information depends on data.|
|Raw data alone is insufficient for decision making||Information is sufficient for decision making|
|An example of data is a student’s test score||The average score of a class is the information derived from the given data.|
What is Data?
Data is a collection of raw, unorganised facts and details like text, observations, figures, symbols and descriptions of things etc. In other words, data does not carry any specific purpose and has no significance by itself. Moreover, data is measured in terms of bits and bytes – which are basic units of information in the context of computer storage and processing.
What is Information?
Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making. For example, a single customer’s sale at a restaurant is data – this becomes information when the business is able to identify the most popular or least popular dish.
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In simple terms, we can conclude that data is an unorganised description of raw facts from which information can be extracted.
For more details on the difference between data and information, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download BYJU’S app for further reference.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is data? Explain with an example.
Data is raw, unorganized, unprocessed information. E.g., the information collected for writing a research paper is data until it is presented in an organized manner.
What is information?
Information is the processed, organized data that is beneficial in providing useful knowledge. For eg., the data compiled in an organized way in a research paper provides information about a particular concept/ topic.
What is valid information?
Valid information is something that is reliable. The information that has been checked and verified for a purpose is a valid information.
What are the different types of data?
Data can be of two types:
- Qualitative data: It is non-numerical data. For eg., the texture of the skin, the colour of the eyes, etc.
- Quantitative data: Quantitative data is given in numbers. Data in the form of questions such as “how much” and “how many”, gives the quantitative data.