Data versus Information

Data is a raw and unorganized fact that required to be processed to make it meaningful. Data can be simple at the same time unorganized unless it is organized. Generally, data comprises facts, observations, perceptions numbers, characters, symbols, image, etc.

Data is always interpreted, by a human or machine, to derive meaning. So, data is meaningless. Data contains numbers, statements, and characters in a raw form.


Information is a set of data which is processed in a meaningful way according to the given requirement. Information is processed, structured, or presented in a given context to make it meaningful and useful.

It is processed data which includes data that possess context, relevance, and purpose. It also involves manipulation of raw data.

Information assigns meaning and improves the reliability of the data. It helps to ensure undesirability and reduces uncertainty. So, when the data is transformed into information, it never has any useless details.

Data vs. Information

Parameters Data Information
Description Qualitative Or Quantitative Variables which helps to develop ideas or conclusions. It is a group of data which carries news and meaning.
Etymology Data comes from a Latin word, datum, which means “To give something.” Over a time “data” has become the plural of datum. Information word has old French and middle English origins. It has referred to the “act of informing.”. It is mostly used for education or other known communication.
Format Data is in the form of numbers, letters, or a set of characters. Ideas and inferences
Represented in It can be structured, tabular data, graph, data tree, etc. Language, ideas, andthoughts based on the given data.
Meaning Data does not have any specific purpose. It carries meaning that has been assigned by interpreting data.
Interrelation Information that is collected Information that is processed.
Feature Data is a single unit and is raw. It alone doesn’t have any meaning. Information is the product and group of data which jointly carry a logical meaning.
Dependence It never depends on Information It depended on Data.
Measuring unit Measured in bits and bytes. Measured in meaningful units like time, quantity, etc.
Support for Decision making It can’t be used for decision making It is widely used for decision making.
Contains Unprocessed raw factors Processed in a meaningful way
Knowledge level It is low-level knowledge. It is the second level of knowledge.
Characteristic Data is the property of an organization and is not available for sale to the public. Information is available for sale to the public.
Dependency Data depends upon the sources for collecting data. Information depends upon data.
Example Ticket sales on a band on tour. Sales report by region and venue. It gives information which venue is profitable for that business.
Significance Data alone has no signifiance. Information is significant by itself.
Meaning Data is based on records and observations and, which are stored in computers or remembered by a person. Information is considered more reliable than data. It helps the researcher to conduct a proper analysis.
Usefulness The data collected by the researcher, may or may not be useful. Information is useful and valuable as it is readily available to the researcher for use.
Dependency Data is never designed to the specific need of the user. Information is always specific to the requirements and expectations because all the irrelevant facts and figures are removed, during the transformation process.

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