Computer Science,JSS 1,Week 6

Topic: Data and Information

Introduction

“Data” comes from a singular Latin word, datum, which originally meant “something given.” Its early usage dates back to the 1600s. Over time “data” has become the plural of datum.

“Information” is an older word that dates back to the 1300s and has Old French and Middle English origins. It has always referred to “the act of informing,” usually in regard to education, instruction, or other knowledge communication.

Data

Data can be defined as a raw fact, data is a raw material which information is produced. Data is a set of values of qualitative or quantitative variables. Data is information in raw or unorganized form (such as alphabets, numbers, or symbols) that refer to, or represent, conditions, ideas, or objects. Data is limitless and present everywhere in the universe. In computing, data is information that has been translated into a form that is more convenient to move or process. Relative to today’s computers and transmission media, data is information converted into binary digital form.

Data can be defined as a representation of facts, concepts or instructions in a formalized manner which should be suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing by human or electronic machine. Data is represented with the help of characters like alphabets (A-Z,a-z), digits (0-9) or special characters(+,-,/,*,<,>,= etc.).

Examples of Data

  • Student Data on Admission Forms: When students get admission in a college. They fill admission form. This form contains raw facts (data of student) like name, father’s name, address of student etc.
  • Survey Data: Different companies collect data by survey to know the opinion of people about their product.
  • Data of Citizens: During census, raw facts of all citizens is collected.
  • Students Examination Data: In examination data about obtained marks of different subjects for all students is collected.

 

Information

Information is a data which has been processed to a meaningful and useful to the person who received it. Data as a general concept refers to the fact that some existing information or knowledge is represented or coded in some form suitable for better usage or processing. Information is stimuli that has meaning in some context for its receiver. When information is entered into and stored in a computer, it is generally referred to as data. After processing (such as formatting and printing), output data can again be perceived as information. Information is the summarization of data. Technically, data are raw facts and figures that are processed into information, such as summaries and totals.

Information is organised or classified data which has some meaningful values for the receiver.

Information is the processed data on which decisions and actions are based.

For the decision to be meaningful, the processed data must qualify for the following characteristics:

  • Timely – Information should be available when required.
  • Accuracy – Information should be accurate.
  • Completeness – Information should be complete.

Examples Of Information

 

  • Student Address Labels: Stored data of students can be used to print address labels of students.
  • Result Cards of Individual Students: In examination system collected data (obtained marks in each subject) is processed to get total obtained marks of a student. Total obtained marks are Information. It is also used to prepare result card of a student.
  • Census Report: Census data is used to get report/information about total population of a country and literacy rate etc.
  • Survey Reports and Results: Survey data is summarized into reports/information to present to management of the company.

 

Sources Of Data

Data can be sourced from the following:

  1. Student performance in both text and exam
  2. Patient files at the hospital
  3. Company’s database about each employees
  4. Printed Books
  5. Internet
  6. Electronic Sources etc.

Examples of Data and Information

Name: : Akingade Job

Class: S S 2A

State of Origin: Ondo state

Sex: Male

Date of birth: 16TH September 1999

How data is processed into information

  • Data could be listen to, store, deleted, removed or merged together
  • Data processing involves some process which includes, calculating, sorting, classifying, and summarizing e.t.c.
  • Data processing simply means how data is being converted into meaning information.

Quality of Good Information

  1. Accuracy: information must be accurate and should not misled the user in making the right decision
  2. Meaningful: A good information must be meaningful i.e must e able to be interpreted
  3. Timely: A good information must be communicated when it is needed
  4. Comprehensive: A good information must be expressed in a way that can understand it
  5. Suitable: A good information must be good enough to serve it purpose
  6. Relevant: A good information must not ease more that it worth.

Differences between Data and Information

  • Data is the input language for a computer and information is the output language for human.
  • Data is unprocessed facts or mere figures but information is processed data which has been made sense of.
  • Data does not depend on information but information depends on data and without it, information cannot be processed.
  • Data is not specific but information is specific enough to generate meaning.
  • Data is the raw material that is collected but information is a detailed meaning generated from the data.

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