Data information and Types

The words Data and Information may look similar and many people use these words very frequently, but both have lots of differences between them.

Data are plain facts. The word “data” is plural for “datum.” When data are processed, organized, structured or presented in a given context so as to make them useful, they are called Information.

It is not enough to have data (such as statistics on the economy). Data themselves are fairly useless, but when these data are interpreted and processed to determine its true meaning, they becomes useful and can be named as Information. 

Information is data that has been processed in such a way as to be meaningful to the person who receives it. it is anything that is communicated.

Data is the term, that may be new to beginners, but it is very interesting and simple to understand. It can be anything like name of a person or a place or a number etc. Data is the name given to basic facts and entities such as names and numbers. The main examples of data are weights, prices, costs, numbers of items sold, employee names, product names, addresses, tax codes, registration marks etc.  

Data is the raw material that can be processed by any computing machine. Data can be represented in the form of:

Numbers and words which can be stored in computer’s language

Images, sounds, multimedia and animated data as shown.


Information: Information is data that has been converted into a more useful or intelligible form. It is the set of data that has been organized for direct utilization of mankind, as information helps human beings in their decision making process. Examples are: Time Table, Merit List, Report card, Headed tables, printed documents, pay slips, receipts, reports etc. The information is obtained by assembling items of data into a meaningful form. For example, marks obtained by students and their roll numbers form data, the report card/sheet is the .information. Other forms of information are pay-slips, schedules, reports, worksheet, bar charts, invoices and account returns etc. It may be noted that information may further be processed and/or manipulated to form knowledge. Information containing wisdom is known as knowledge.

Need of Information 

Modem civilization has become so complicated and sophisticated that to survive one has to be competitive. This compels the people to keep himself informed of all types of happenings in the society. With the advent of educational reforms in society, mankind is surrounded with a vast amount of data available. Modem business management system has also rendered itself to bulk collection of data from various sources, that needs to be rearranged in a fashion so that it can be utilized with minimum possible time. This needs a high amount of filing either at data stage or at information stage. No office can be without files. If you go to any tax collection department or municipal office you will find a high amount of files stacked here and there.

Modem rules, regulation and law requires every transaction to happen in a written form, may be an agreement, application, voucher, bill, letter, memo, order etc. Paper files require a high amount of storage space and paper storage creates several other problems like fire risk, spoilage and deterioration by way of aging microorganism and humidity etc. In modem days information is needed to run man’s own livelihood to run a system or process or to command a business.

The amount of information is growing very rapidly. The current age of information demands computer literacy to be accompanied by information literacy as employers’ dependence is .now focused on professionals with up to date information and all kinds of information processing skills so as to take the challenge of ever changing scenario of information in this world information literacy helps to gather the appropriate information, evaluate the information and generate an informed decision. The impact of information revolution has been extended to each individual in the society and it is much faster than industrial revolution.

The migration from industrial age to an information age has ended the repetitive effort of workers by replacing them with computer software, robots with artificial intelligence have replaced the humans, and multiprocessing computers have replaced office workers with typewriters.

Information is needed to: 

  • To gain knowledge about the surroundings, and whatever is happening in the society and universe.
  • To keep the system up to date.
  • To know about the rules and regulations and bye laws of society, local government, provincial and central government, associations, clients etc. as ignorance is no bliss.
  • Based on above three, to arrive at a particular decision for planning current and prospective actions in process of forming, running and protecting a process or system


1 – Big data

A core favorite, big data has arisen to be defined as something like: that amount of data that will not practically fit into a standard (relational) database for analysis and processing caused by the huge volumes of information being created by human and machine-generated processes.

2 – Structured, unstructured, semi-structured data

All data has structure of some sort. Delineating between structured and unstructured data comes down to whether the data has a pre-defined data model and whether it’s organized in a pre-defined way.

3 – Time-stamped data

Time-stamped data is a dataset which has a concept of time ordering defining the sequence that each data point was either captured (event time) or collected (processed time).

4 – Machine data

Simply put, machine data is the digital exhaust created by the systems, technologies and infrastructure powering modern businesses.

5 – Spatiotemporal data

Spatiotemporal data describes both location and time for the same event- and it can show us how phenomena in a physical location change over time.

6 – Open data

Open data is data that is freely available to anyone in terms of its use (the chance to apply analytics to it) and rights to republish without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.  The Open Data Institute states that open data is only useful if it’s shared in ways that people can actually understand. It needs to be shared in a standardized format and easily traced back to where it came from.

7 – Dark data

Dark data is digital information that is not being used and lies dormant in some form.

Analyst house Gartner Inc. describes dark data as, “Information assets that an organization collects, processes and stores in the course of its regular business activity, but generally fails to use for other purposes.”

8 – Real time data

One of the most explosive trends in analytics is the ability to stream and act around real time data. Some people argue that the term itself is something of a misnomer i.e. data can only travel as fast as the speed of communications, which isn’t faster than time itself… so, logically, even real time data is slightly behind the actual passage of time in the real world. However, we can still use the term to refer to instantaneous computing that happens about as fast as a human can perceive.

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