What is the difference between data and information?

In summary, The conversation is about the definitions and differences between data and information. The speaker is interested in collecting information from various fields of study and mentions that data becomes information through statistical algorithms. The conversation then jokes about the difference between data and information, with one person providing an example of female measurements and another mentioning the evolution of terms such as "Data processing" to "Information technology". The conversation concludes with a personal opinion that data is objective and information is subjective.
  • #1
65
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I am interested in reading definitions/differences for data and information from various fields fo study. Anything you've got from your own field or another would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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  • #2
Well, the following is just my interpretation related to my work:

I can collect tons of data and have no information at all when I analyze the state of markers along the genome.

The data only becomes information to me when I pass it through statistical algorithms, which will tell me if there is an underlying pattern to the data, thus giving me information. Then there are still different levels of informativeness, based on the P-value that comes with the data-points.
 
  • #3
24, 36, 38 is data.

38, 24, 36 is information!
 
  • #4
Originally posted by selfAdjoint
24, 36, 38 is data.

38, 24, 36 is information!

Naughty, naughty.
 
  • #5
Originally posted by mmwave
Naughty, naughty.

But when you're right, you're right.
 
  • #6
Originally posted by selfAdjoint
24, 36, 38 is data.

38, 24, 36 is information!

Just for data, the information is 90-60-90...SI!
 
  • #7
Originally posted by Mr. Robin Parsons
Just for data, the information is 90-60-90...SI!
Those are the female measurements?
 
  • #8
Data is a subset of information, ie it is unprocessed or un-interpreted information. "Raw data" would then be redundant.
 
  • #9
Richard Dawkin's "The Information Challenge"...

http://www.skeptics.com.au/journal/dawkins1.htm [Broken]
 
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  • #10
I used to work in "Data processing", then as the years went by it became "Information processing" and now it's "Information technology" or IT.

My very personal take is that data is objective, everyone can agree that there's a 3 in such and such column of a particular file.

Information, however requires human understanding, and is therefor at least a little bit subjective. What does that 3 "mean" to different people?
 

1. What is the difference between data and information?

Data refers to raw facts, figures, or symbols that have yet to be processed or organized, while information is the result of processing and organizing data into a meaningful form.

2. How are data and information related to each other?

Data is the foundation of information. Without data, there can be no information. Data is transformed into information through analysis and interpretation.

3. Can data be considered as information?

No, data and information are distinct concepts. Data is the input, while information is the output. Data only becomes information when it is processed and given context.

4. What are some examples of data and information?

Data can include numbers, letters, images, or any other symbols. Examples of information include reports, graphs, charts, and summaries that provide meaning and context to the data.

5. Why is it important to distinguish between data and information?

Understanding the difference between data and information is crucial for effective decision-making. Data provides the foundation for making informed decisions, while information helps us understand the implications of those decisions.

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