A lot of people believe that there is no difference between data and information in computer terms. Data can be a string of characters, numbers, video, sound and pictures. While information is far more complicated. Information is believed to be distinctive by people while data is mainly used by computers. This is not true. In this article, we will show you a basic difference between data and information.
Primary Difference between data and information in computer
The computer is meant to read data. It uses formulas, algorithms and read patterns to make use of data. We, as humans usually stick to information. The computer is our serviceman that helps to create information out of the piece of data. Let`s take a look at the difference between data and information in a computer.
Example of Dat
Jack, Johnson, 2525 dream, LA, UT, 69696, 3915552323
Example of information
Los-Angeles, UT 69696
From the examples above you can see that you can distinguish pieces of information out of the data string. Still, you would need to understand the data if it`s set up in a peculiar positions, readable text and even patterns of form. It helps to identify who Jack Johnson is, where he lives and his telephone number.
Explain Difference Between Data and Information
As it was mentioned before – the key difference is that data is a raw material, while information is a complete product. Information is processed data. Let`s take a look at the further explanation of the difference.
Difference by definition
Data is a raw material. It has limited value. It`s not organized into any structure.
Information is data that has been converted into a meaningful string with useful context.
- Data: Each student’s score for the final test examination is data.
- Information: The average score of the class, the average score of the school. It`s a processed data given from the initial string.
- Data by itself is not significant to humans. It`s needs further processing;
- Information is significant for humans. Still, information can`t exist without data.
Data comes from a Latin word “Datum”. It means something that is given. The first usage of the world in English language is dated back to 1600s. Data was used as a singular noun. After a while, it substituted its plural form datum.
Information is much older than Data. You can trace back its origins to 1300s. It comes from Middle-English and Old French. At that time, it was defined as the act of informing. It means education, instruction or tuition. In general, it`s an act of providing knowledge. With rising of the computer era in the 20th century, the word began to be used in the computer sphere to define processed data.
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Is there a difference between data and information? Yes, there certainly is. Data is something needed to be processed to have a full picture. Data alone can`t provide enough meaning or definition. Data is a computer language. It`s meant to be processed by computers to provide a distinct information to people. Without interpretation or context, data has no meaning.
Examples of Data
- Data of Citizens. During the census, all data of citizens is collected. Still, it does not represent the whole processed picture.
- Survey Data. Different companies collect data to further be used in promoting the services of products. It helps to create a complete people`s opinion and develop new production.
- Students examination data. You can find different marks and subjects of every student. It`s a collected data which provides no meaning by itself.
- Admission Forms. When you enter the institution or take a job. You are supposed to fill the forms with your personal data, like date of birth, the city of birth, first name, family name, etc.
Information is the processed data. It`s the data plus meaning. Do not get confused, information greatly relies on data. It can`t be processed without data. Information is the meaning formed with the help of data.
Examples of Information
- Census Report. When the data about people living in the country is collected, it`s fairly easy to create a report. This information will provide a specific meaning of total population.
- Survey reports. When the data is collected, it needs to be processed. Survey reports are the information which helps to promote products.
- Rating List. According to the marks provided from the students – it`s easy to create a list where all marks of the student are calculated.
Difference between Data and Information – conclusion
From the difference between data and information examples above we can summarize, that:
- Data is a computer language. It`s provided specifically for computers. At the same time, information is designed to be read by humans.
- Data is unprocessed figures, facts, pieces. It becomes information if it`s processed. In that way data with sense and context becomes information.
- Data is an independent string of variables. It does not depend on information. Although, information can`t exist without data.
- Data is not specific. It`s just a small string of numbers and characters. Sometimes it`s represented in a chaotic way. Only computers have can generate the data string. At the same time, information is a generated meaning based on the data.
- Data is a raw material. It consists of collected pieces. Information is a detailed data. It represents order and meaning.
Is there a difference between data and information? Yes, it`s huge difference and now you know that!
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