Difference Between Data and Information

Difference Between Data and Information

A lot of times, when a scientist is researching on a particular subject, they are expected to gather their facts first before they can make any conclusions about the matter. These facts, at first, are probably out of context and unorganized. So it is left for the researcher to study them closely in order to understand and organize them in a way that makes sense.

When the facts were still unorganized, they are referred to as data. After they have been organized in a sensible manner, they are referred to as information. From this instance, you can see that there is a difference between data and information.

They have a lot in common, but they are not the same. We’ll go into more details about this subject. We’ll be answering the questions what is data and information and what is the difference between data and information? We’ll also describe them further using a comparison table, as well as show you some examples of data and information.

Definition of Data

Any fact that is unorganized and does not make a lot of sense on its own is known as data. It is usually raw, requires some form of processing, and is usually simple in most cases. You’re going to need either a machine or a human to analyze it to derive some contextual meaning to it.

Also, the difference between data and information can be seen in their forms. Data is usually in the form of symbols, numbers, statements, characters, observations, etc. From these forms, you’ll understand why unprocessed data does not make sense.

Definition of Information

When you gather some facts, put them together in a sensible way with the help of a machine or just human effort, then you have processed the facts to come up with some information.

Information in defined as a set of data that has been structured and presented in a meaningful context. This is one of the ways you can answer the question – what is the difference between data and information? Note that in this case, you’re dealing with, not just a single item, but a set of items. This can be in the form of ideas and inferences.

Data vs Information Comparison Table

There are quite numerous instances, but we’ll only stick to 5 differences between data and information.

Basis of Comparison Data Information
Definition Any fact that is unorganized and does not make a lot of sense on its own A set of data that has been structured and presented in a meaningful context
Dependence Does not depend on information Depends on data
Function No specific function Has a specific function
Nature Unprocessed Processed
Examples Numbers, symbol, words, statements, etc She sold 4 million copies of her book, star is the symbol of excellence, etc

Conclusion of the Main Difference Between Data vs Information

After all that has been said, there are two basic keywords that answer the question what’s the difference between data and information? And that is “meaning” and “context”. These two terms make all the difference.