People usually make a mistake of using the terms “Data” and “Information” interchangeably. However, there is a significant difference between both terms. In this article, you will learn about the definition of both terms along with examples and the key differences between both of them.
What is Data?
Data is collected from unstructured facts and details. data is in the form of characters, symbols, numbers, figures, text or simply drawn or scribbled figures without any particular format. Data require processing to make its use as information. The word “Data” is derived from the Latin word “datum” whose meaning is “to give something”. The data term is widely used research purposes in organizations like government departments, educational institutes, government, and private research institutes. There are basically two types of data
1) Primary Data
It has further two categories
i) Quantitative Data
ii) Qualitative Data
It also has two categories
i) Internal Data
ii) External Data
Examples of data
i) The history of the population for the past 100 years all around the world is data.
ii) The number of visitors from different countries is data.
iii) The average weight of the people of New York is data.
What is Information?
Information is a type of data which is processed, structured, organized, and has a specific meaning. Information is presented in a specific format. It is an understandable form of data and is more reliable than data. Data can only be used in research only after it is processed and converted into information. The word information has French origin and its meaning is “act of informing”. Data is cleaned, refined and pass through various processes to convert into information. The processed information is presented in form of tables, chart etc. therefore, it is easy to understand and use for a variety of purposes.
Examples of Information
i) The analyzed and processed data about the population of countries around the world for the past 100 years depicts the increase in the total population on earth is information.
ii) The increase in the number of visitors from America and a decrease in the number of visitors from India is information.
iii) The average weight of the people of New York is too high is a piece of information.
Difference Between Data and Information
|It does not have any specific meaning.||Information has a meaning which is defined by analyzing and refining data.|
|Data is raw in nature.||Information is what we get after processing data.|
|Data comes in the form of numbers, characters, and letters.||Information is ideas and inferences|
|The data is the plural form of Latin word “Datum”, whose meaning is “to give something”||Information has French origin and its meaning is “act of informing”.|
|Qualitative or Quantitative variables which can be used to form ideas and information.||Information is systematically organized data which carries meaning and news.|
|Data is a single unit and does not have any meaning.||Information is processed product and carries a logical meaning.|
|Data does not depend on anything.||Information completely depends on data|
|Data is measured in units like bits and bytes||Information is measured using units like quantity, weight, and time etc.|
|Data is not helpful in decision making||Information is widely used to make decisions.|
|In computer language, it is low-level knowledge.||Information is second-level knowledge.
|Data has no significance||Information is significant in itself
|All type of data is not useful as it can’t be used for research directly. It can only be used after processing.||All type of information is useful in one way or another way and relevant information can be used by a researcher for research purpose
In the end, we can say that both data and information is inter-related. Data is unstructured information and information is structured data. It is normal for people to get between these two terms because of their close connectivity with each other. If we talk in computer language then data is input which results “information” as output. Therefore, we can say that information can not be collected without data. Data is important to extract information. In this article, you have learned about the definitions and examples of both data and information along with the key differences between both of them.