What is the Difference Between Data and Information

How do data and information differ : Hello Friends, In this post we are going to tell you about what is the difference between data and information. Here you have full details of data vs information and their examples are also provided whom you can read below. You can easily understand the difference between information and data because we have provided good examples for you here, so that you will be able to understand the data versus information easily.


What is Data?

In our daily life, we may observe any number of things around us. Depending upon the language known we now represent things in a particular way. For example, we observe a house, which is enclosed with four walls, a roof and some opening walls. In other example, a wooden structure we called as table, and other wooden structure called as chair etc.

The representation is different because we are using different languages. Thus, data are the raw facts represented by a value. The value may be numbers, characters, and name of persons, name of things or name or place. The data also is an image, picture, drawing, graphs etc. Following examples can be illustrated for data.

The value 121 (as digit), Nitin (as the name of a person), Meerut (as the name of a place), Chair (as the name of a thing) etc. We can also describe data as following ways:

In computing, data is information that has been translated into a form that is more convenient to move or process. Relative to today’s computer and transmission media, data is information converted into binary or digital form.

What is Information?

Information is a set of data which is processed in a meaningful way according to the given requirement. Information is structure, processed, presented in a given context to make it meaningful and useful.

What is the Difference Between Data and Information

In general, Data is a collection of raw facts and figures and Information is the processed data. For understanding this we can take an example 900 as a value. At this stage we do not know that which value this is representing. We can give a fixed meaning to it. Like by preceding Rs of this value (Rs. 900), this will represent money in Rs. At this stage this has some meaning i.e., this is representing Indian currency.

This can be more meaningful if we are adding this–a price of Mouse is Rs. 900. At this stage the value i.e., data item has acquired a fixed and a definitive meaning leaving no scope for ambiguity. Now this value can be called as information.

What is the Difference Between Data and Information

We can take another example for understanding difference between data and information. We can compare raw material as data and finished products as information like in a manufacturing concern just like as raw materials are converted into finished products by some process, raw data are converted into information by carrying out certain processing on them. Following figure can illustrate this concept.

Difference Between Data and Information

Another example to understand the difference between data and information is given below.

  • In the statement of marks of some students, the students’ name, roll number and marks obtained from the data and marks sheet which gives the roll numbers in serial order, followed by students’ name, marks in the different subjects arranged in a meaningful manner is the information.
  • Any business house keeping data of employees include employees’ name, department, designation, basic salary, allowances etc. And also the attendance or working data (details) like working hours, overtime hours, number of leaves taken etc. These are the data stored in several places, which are to be collected for processing, which will generate pay slips. After processing accountant or accounting software (in case of computerized system) prepare pay-slips for each employee. These pay-slips are the information.
  • The value 01091972 is meaningless by itself since it could refer to a date of birth, a part number for an automobile, the number of rupees spent on a project, population of a town etc. Once we know what the sequence refers to, then it becomes meaningful and can be called as information. When we write above as 01-09-1972, it may mean date of
    birth as 01st September 1972.

The distinction between data and information leads to the definition of data processing as a process that makes the data usable by transforming it into meaningful information. In order to generate information from data items certain set of processes has to be performed in a set of sequence depending on the desired ultimate result. Performing these processes in a specific sequence is known as Data Processing.

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