Many believe that the terms “data” and “information” can be used interchangeably and mean the same. However, there is a subtle difference between the two.
Data can be a number, symbol, character, word, and if not put into context, individual pieces of data mean nothing to humans.
On the other hand, information is a data put into context. Information is utilised by humans in some significant way. A good example of information would be a computer. A computer uses programming scripts, formulas, or software applications to turn data into information.
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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 raw facts that need processing without which it is seemingly random and useless to humans||Information is a processed, organised data presented in a given context and is useful to humans.|
|Data is an individual unit that contains raw material which does not carry any specific meaning.||Information is a group of data that collectively carry a logical meaning.|
|Data doesn’t depend on information.||Information depends on data.|
|It is measured in bits and bytes.||Information is measured in meaningful units like time, quantity, etc.|
|Data is never suited to the specific needs of a designer.||Information is specific to the expectations and requirements because all the irrelevant facts and figures are removed, during the transformation process.|
|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 the complete list of facts and details like text, observations, figures, symbols and description of things. It is the raw list of facts that are processed to gain information. The basic concept of data is associated with scientific research collected by different research organisations.
What is Information?
Information is the processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data. However, both the terms are used together, information can be easily understood than data.
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In simple terms, we can conclude that data is unorganised description and facts from which information can be extracted.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is data? Explain with an example.
Data is the raw, unorganized, unprocessed information. For eg., 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.
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 the non-numerical data. For eg., texture of the skin, colour of eyes, etc.
- Quantitative data: Quantitative data is given in numbers. Data in the form of questions such as “how much”, “how many”, gives the quantitative data.