Data and information are not the same but are usually used interchangeably. There are slight differences between data and information with their aims. Data is referred to as a person’s fact, whereas information means interpreting and organising a person’s facts. Above all, these two terms can be used to identify and solve a problem. This article aims to dive deeper into data and information and how they are used in a business entity.
What is Data?
Data is referred to as a collection of the fact of a person or statistics. The singular form of data is called datum, and it is not a common word. Data may be in text form, numbers or figures, graphs or symbols, images, and observations. With more explanations, data can be a person’s name, address, age, weight, and distance. Data is an untouched form of knowledge and usually does not possess any significance or aims; the data must be interpreted to make meaning. Sometimes the data seems useless until analysed, organised, and interpreted. Data is of two types: qualitative data which is only descriptive, like the name of a person, its colour, or the sex, and quantitative data, which is usually given in a numerical form, such as the volume or weight of an item.
What is Information?
Information is regarded as knowledge obtained through communication, research, or study. Information interprets this knowledge. Most importantly, information is the end point of analysing and giving an interpretation to a piece of data, while the data has to do with a person’s figures or graphs. A piece of information that is of benefit to an individual is when the data is put together and then analysed in a useful way.
Difference Between Data and Information
- Data is unorganised and raw. Information organises and creates meaning in data.
- Data collect raw facts. Information places those facts into context.
- Data is always meaningless and useless. It becomes useful and meaningful information when it has been interpreted and analysed.
- The points in data are usually unrelated. Information graphs out the data to offer a clear picture view of how it is related.
- Information depends on data to make meaning. Data does not rely on the information because it is raw.
- Data is usually seen in structures like a graph, statistics, numbers, and figures. Information is offered in words, messages, thoughts, and ideas.
- Data is never enough when making decisions. In contrast, decisions can be made through pieces of information.
Data and information are essential in businesses as firms prioritise collecting data, putting it together, and interpreting the information to realise its significant benefits. When data is used efficiently, the information can trigger intelligent and quicker decision-making in businesses. To form an efficient data-driven tradition, it is essential to maintain the information and insights derived from data in a centralised source, form protocols to ensure data quality and cultivate an analytic pattern across every department. Information and data are vital in business decision-making. To better understand how these components work out, it will be an excellent decision to move your business to a more data and insights-driven culture.