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Difference Between Data and Information

What is Data?

The term Data is defined as a raw and unstructured fact that needs to be processed to make it meaningful. Data can be simple and unstructured at the same time until it is structured. Usually data contains facts, numbers, symbols, image, observations, perceptions, characters, etc.

To derive meaning, data is always interpreted by a machine or human. So, it is meaningless. Data comprises of statements, characters and numbers in a raw form. Examples of Data; the number of visitors to a website by country, for the past 100 years, the history of temperature readings around the globe is the data.

What is Information?

The term Information is defined as a set of data that is processed according to the given requirement in a meaningful way. To make the information useful and meaningful, it must be processed, presented and structured in a given context.

Information is processed from data and possess context, purpose and relevance. It also includes raw data manipulation.

Information gives meaning and increases the accuracy of the data. It helps to guarantee undesirability and reduces confusion. Thus, when the data is transformed into information, there is no unwanted and useless detail contained in the information. Example of information: Merit List, receipts, reports, report cards etc.

Difference Between Data and Information

Parameters Data Information
Description Quantitative or Qualitative variables that are useful to generate ideas or conclusions. Information is a set of data that carries news and meaning.
Format Data comes in the form of letters, numbers, or a character set. Information is in the form of ideas and inferences.
Represented We can represent the data in the form of a graph, data tree, tabular data, etc. We can represent the Information in the form of languages, thoughts on the basis of the given data.
Meaning Data has no particular purpose. Information carries the meaning assigned by the data interpretation.
Interrelation Information which is gathered. Information which is processed.
Dependence Data never depends on knowledge. Information depends on Data.
Knowledge Level Data is a low-level Knowledge. Information is the second level of knowledge.
Contains Data contains unprocessed raw factors. The information is processed in a meaningful way.
Dependency The data depends on the sources to be collected. Information depends on the data.
Significance Data alone does not have any significance. Information by itself is significant.
Meaning Data is based on the observations and records, and is stored in computer and remembered by an individual. Information is more reliable as compared to the data. It enables the researcher to conduct a proper study.
Usefulness The data which is gathered by the researcher can or cannot be useful. Information is useful and valuable because it is easily accessible for the researcher to use.

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