Difference Between Data vs Information
In short and simple words, Data simply stands for facts and figures which may contain bits of information, complete information or no information at all. Now coming to information, when data are processed, interpreted, organized, structured and presented and it makes sense for which one needs the information, then only it is called Information. Information is described as the form of data that is processed, organized, specific, structured and represented to infer some meaning information as per need. This information adds meaning and improves the reliability of the data, ensuring understandability and reduces uncertainty. To transform or to extract information from data one have to make it free from unnecessary details or immaterial things, which has some value as per the need.
Since Data needs to be interpreted and analyzed to extract the information out of it, it is quite possible that it will be interpreted incorrectly which leads to erroneous conclusions, thus such information inferred from data is said to be that the data are misleading. This kind of scenario is mostly due to incomplete data or a lack of context.
For example, your investment in share markets is common nowadays. So before investing one have to extract information from the data available which may be wrong and it cost the investor a loss, there could be many reasons behind it but in context to our topic, the reasons could be that the data available are incomplete or lack of context.
One more instance we can take, for example, a list of dates can be called Data which is meaningless without the information which we could extract from the data like the list of holidays or the list of the weekend or national holidays as per the need.
Similarly, the history of temperature readings for any place is simply be called as data. If the same data is organized and analyzed and then presented to find that maximum temperature and the minimum temperature for a duration as per the requirement, then we can call it as information.
We can bifurcate data as followings:
1) Primary Data
- Qualitative Data.
- Quantitative Data.
2) Secondary Data.
- Internal Data.
- External Data.
Head to Head Comparison Between Data and Information (Infographics)
Below is the top 15 difference between Data and Information:
Key Difference Between Data and Information
Let us discuss some of the major difference between Data and Information:
- Data are the raw facts gathered in any condition, event, idea, entity or anything sorts of things for which one needs to conclude any information.
- The facts what we conclude from a particular event or subject for which, we filter the data by eliminating the useless data and keep the necessary data that forms the information.
- Data could be anything like simple text or numbers
- Information is the processed and interpreted form of data.
- Data is unorganized, randomly collected facts and figures which could be processed to draw conclusions as per the need.
- The organized form of the same data that make sense is called Information.
- Data are collected based on observations and records, which are stored in computers or simply in papers or by some other means.
- Information are considered more reliable because the proper analysis is conducted to convert data into information.
Data and Information Comparison Table
Let us discuss the comparison between Data and Information which are as follows.
|The Basis Of Comparison between Data vs Information||Data||Information|
|Description||Raw facts and figures which helps to develop ideas or conclusion.||Findings/Analysis from data which make meaningful information as per the need.|
|Format||It could be in the form of character, letters, numbers or anything.||Ideas and inferences extracted from data’s and properly arranged.|
|Representation||Structure, tabular data, images, color codes or anything.||The language with graphs as per the need.|
|Meaning||Does not have any meaning.||It has a proper meaning.|
|Interrelation||Collection of information.||Processed from data.|
|Feature||Data is in raw form and does not make any sense.||Collection of data after filtering out irrelevant data’s which makes sense.|
|Dependency||No dependency.||It depends on data.|
|UOM||Measured in bits or bytes or kilobytes and so on.||Measured on the aspect of time, quality, etc.|
|Support for Decision Making||It cannot be used for decision making.||Used for decision making.|
|Contains||Raw data.||Meaning information.|
|Knowledge Level||Low level||Medium level.|
|Characteristic||Some data are classified to the organization and are restricted to distribute in public.
However, some data’s are available to the public also.
|Available for sale which has some importance to the public.|
|Significance||Data alone has no significance.||It is significant by itself.|
|Usefulness||May or may not be useful because it may also contain irrelevant data.||It is useful and valuable as it is the inferred from data.|
|Example||Data’s about the temperature of a particular region.||Analysis of data which makes the information valuable to infer facts like maximum or the minimum temperature of a day for a month.|
So we can conclude the discussion with the point that Data is unorganized information and Information is what we get after processing and analyzing data. Both data vs information terms are very close. With reference to the technicality, data means input which is used to generate some meaning full output which we called it as Information.
Data are facts and descriptions from which information can be extracted. Alone data have no meaning one has to filter the data to get the correct information from the data to get the information, Data is just a collection of numbers, words, symbols or it could be anything from which Information could be extracted by analyzing it. Data does not make any sense but Information extracted from it makes sense as discussed already.
Data is again raw and unorganized fact and figures that required to be processed to make it meaningful which is called Information.
So we came to know that data could be anything and it may contain some valuable information or it may not be which need to be analyzed to get information out of it. Data alone has no significance but Information has.
Information has the dependency on data but data has no dependency.
This has been a guide to the top difference between Data vs Information. Here we have discussed Data vs Information head to head comparison, key differences, along with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –
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