what is difference between data and information?

most people believe that the terms “data” and “information” are interchangeable and mean the same thing
there is a distinct difference between the two

Data is simply the inputs. You/Computer process these inputs and generate some meaningful insight and that is information.

For instance in the field of analytics, you get the list of people who visited a particular web site, you also get the date and time of their visit, which browser they used… All that are data. Later a person or a computer program goes through all that data and find out patters, such as which browser is used by most of your visitors, at what time of day you get the most visits… That is information.

On-screen bank balance is information, but bank ATM PIN is data…
Forum password is data, but new inbox message is information etc.

But with the informal language of the internet its all semantics.
So one person’s data is likely just another person’s information.


Take an example of an IoT device that streams 24hr real-time energy usage data back to HQ.
When that data is analysed it becomes ‘useful data’ or ‘actionable information’ AKA knowledge.

So data is information… But data that brings insight is knowledge.
Or if you prefer: information is data that contains knowledge etc.

But hey its all semantics… :slight_smile:

Really open to all manner of subjective definitions! For me though…

Data = raw data.

Information = what you get when you analyse data.

The main difference between data and information is that data is raw material that is to be processed and information is the processed data.

You google and get this:-
Data vs. Information - Differences in Meaning. Data are simply facts or figures — bits of information, but not information itself. When data are processed, interpreted, organized, structured or presented so as to make them meaningful or useful, they are called information. Information provides context for data.

Its all about context and who you’re talking too.

Doesn’t matter what the data is, if the parties involved agree implicitly|explicitly to the meaning and usage of the information discussed.

Or should I say…

Doesn’t matter what the information is, if the parties involved agree implicitly|explicitly to the meaning and usage of the data discussed.