Many people are often confused between data and information, and they think they are the same terms.
They are not the same terms; their meaning is different.
Are you one of those who believe data and information are the same things?
Don’t worry, if you think so.
We are here to mitigate your confusion regarding these terms.
Undoubtedly data and information are interrelated to each other because when we process meaningful data, it turns into information. However, data and information are different from each other in various aspects.
Moreover, data can be in any form, such as symbol, number, word, character, graphs, etc, whereas information is data in a proper context. If we have only data, it is useless for us, but we use information in the decision-making process in different fields.
In this blog, we will discuss the difference between data and information in various aspects. But before that let’s talk about them separately.
What do you understand about Data?
Data is driven by the Latin word “datum” which is a singular form of data. Raw and unorganized facts or figures are data, and we need to process them to make them useful and meaningful. Data can be observations, perceptions, numbers, symbols, images, characters, etc.
Data is meaningless unless it is processed with different tools and techniques.
For example, we have numbers, 73-11-205, as data.
What do you understand by information?
It comes from the Latin word “information(n),” which means formation and concepts. When the raw and unorganized Data is processed into a structured and organized way to extract meaningful facts it is considered as information.
For example, When we are given the roll number(7311204) of a student, it becomes information.
Key Difference between data and Information
- Data is a fact that is raw and unstructured and needs a processing system to make it meaningful; however, Information is a set of structured and organized data processed in a helpful way.
- Where data is purposeless, Information is used for different purposes.
- There is no significance when data is given alone, whereas Information itself is significant and carries meaning.
- Data does not rely on Information; however, Information relies on data.
- The measurement units of data are bits and bytes, whereas Information is measured in time, quantity, and other meaningful units.
- Data representation methods are tables, graphs, trees; however, we can represent Information in ideas, thoughts, language based on given data.
|Definition||Data is an unorganized raw fact, that conveys no meaning.||Information is a set of data processed in a meaningful message.|
|Etymology||Data is taken from a Latin word, a datum that is a singular form of data and it means to give something.||It comes from the Latin word information and also originates from French and Middle English. It referred to the act of informing.|
|Representation Methods||Data representation can be done with graphs, tables, trees, etc.||Information representation methods are ideas, thoughts, language, etc.|
|Format||The data is formatted in numbers, characters, digits, etc.||Information is formed in the ideas and inferences.|
|Purpose||Data does not have any specific purpose.||Information is used for different purposes in different fields.|
|Meaning||Data is meaningless and does not convey any meaning.||Information is meaningful and helpful in the decision-making process.|
|Dependency||Data does not depend on information.||Information entirely depends on the data.|
|Measurement||The measurement unit of data is bits and bytes.||Information is measured in meaningful units such as time and quantity etc.|
|Role in decision making||Data does not play any role in the decision-making process.||Information is crucial for decision-making.|
|Useful for researchers||Collected data may not be useful for the researchers if it is not analyzed properly.||Information plays a primary role in any type of research for the researchers.|
So these are some factors that differentiate data from the information and make them separate. Data is a single unit that is not useful for any process and on the contrary information is a product or group of data that is processed in a meaningful text.
Let’s check your knowledge about data and information.
Question- When you have given two statements 2021 and Tokyo Olympics 2021, now identify which is data and which is information.
Answer- Here 2021 is data and
Tokyo Olympics 2021 is information because it tells us the place where an event is going on in 2021.
In this blog, we have explored the difference between data and information in respect of various parameters. Although data and information are interrelated but not the same terms. We do not need any information to collect the data whereas we need data to derive the information through various processes.
It is necessary to clear your doubts regarding the similarities of data and information to analyze them properly. I hope after reading this blog you will not have any confusion about data and information, as here I have given the sufficient parameters to make them different.