Computer Science

Data and Information

Data

A collection of raw facts and figures is called data. The word raw  means that the facts have not been processed to get their exact meaning. Data is given to the computer for processing. Data is collected for different purposes. Data may consist of numbers, characters, symbols or pictures etc.

Data is a collection of facts and figures related to an object. An object can be a person, event or anything about which data is collected. Data may consist of text, numbers, images, sound and videos. Data can be processed to produce useful information.

Data is very important for an organization. It can be used by the managers to perform effective and successful operations of management. It provides a view of past activities related to the rise and fall of an organization. It also enables the organization to make better decision for future activities.

Examples Of Data

Some examples of data are as follows:

  • Students fill an admission form when they get admission in college. The form consist of raw facts about the students. These raw facts are students name, father name, address etc. The purpose of collecting this data is to maintain the records of the students during their study period in the college.
  • Governments collect the data of all citizens of the country during the census. This data is stored permanently and is used for different purposes at different times.
  •  Different-organizations conduct surveys to know the opinion of the people about their product. In these surveys, people express their ideas and opinions about different issues. These ideas and opinions of the people are stored as data. The organizations use this data for the improvement of their products etc.
  • The data of a student may consist of Roll Number, Student Name, Father Name and Marks of different subjects. The purpose of collecting this data is to maintain the record of the student during the study period.

Information

The processed data is called information. Information is an organized and processed form of data. It is more meaningful than data and is used for making decisions. Data is used as input for the processing and information is the output of this processing. This information  can be used again in some other processing and will be considered as data in that processing.

The marks of a student in different subjects in data. This data is used to calculate the total marks which is the information. The total marks can be processed again to calculate average marks of the student. In this processing, total marks is used as data and average marks is the information.

Example

Some examples of information are as follows:

  • In college and universities; the raw facts about students are stored on admission forms. For examples, the user may need a list of all students who live in Faisalabad. The desired list can be generated by applying some processing on the data. The list is a form of processed data and will be called information.
  • The data stored in census is used to generate different type of information. For example, Government can use it to find the total number of graduates or literacy rate in the country etc. The information is obtained by processing the data. Government can use the information in important decisions to improve literacy rate.
  • An organization can use the opinion of the people as data and process it to generate information of its interest. For example, it can know that how many people of the country are satisfied with the quality of its product and how many are unsatisfied. The organization can use this information for the improvement of its product.
  • The data of a student can be processed to produce useful information such as total marks and grade of the student. It can also be processed to find the number of passed and failed students etc.

Difference between Data and Information

Data Information
1. Data is a collection of raw facts and figures. 1. Information is processed from of data.

2. Data is used as input in the computer.

3. Data is not very meaningful.

2. Information is the output of computer.

3. Information is the output of computer. 

4. Data is normally huge in its volume. 4. Information is normally short in its volume.
5. Data is difficult or even impossible to reproduce. For example, it is very hard to reproduce the data of census if it is lost. 5. Information is easier to reproduce. For example, number of graduate citizens can be recalculated from the stored data.
6. Data is used rarely. 6. Information is used frequently.

7. Data does not dependent on information.

8. Data is not directly used in decision making.

7. Information depends on data.

8. Information is directly used in decision making.

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