Data and Information

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DATA| INFORMATION|
123424331911| Your winning lottery ticket number|
140593| Your date of birth|
Aaabbbccd| The grades you want in your GCSEs|
Data and information

Data, information & knowledge

Data
Data consist of raw facts and figures - it does not have any meaning until it is processed and turned into something useful. It comes in many forms, the main ones being letters, numbers, images, symbols and sound. It is essential that data is available because it is the first step in creating meaningful information. Ex; 123424331911; 140593; aaabbbccd, might not mean anything by themselves, but if it is processed and turned into (the chart below) they turn into something useful.

Information
Information is data that has been processed in such a way as to be meaningful to the person who receives it. INFORMATION = DATA + CONTEXT + MEANING

INFORMATION = DATA + CONTEXT + MEANING

Example of information

DATA| 21041926| This has no meaning or context|
CONTEXT| It is a British date| This allows us to register it as 21st April 1926. It still has no meaning and is therefore not information| MEANING| The Birth date of Queen Elizabeth II| This gives usa ll the elements required dor it to be called ‘information’|

Knowledge

Knowledge is the ability of understanding the relationship between pieces of information and what to actually do with the information. Consider this scenario: Person puts a finger into very hot water. Data gathered: Finger nerves sends pain data to the brain.

Processing: Brain considers the data and comes up with...
Information: Painful finger means it is not in a good place. Action: Brain tells finger to remove itself from hot water.
Knowledge: Sticking finger in hot water is a bad idea.

Knowledge is having an understanding of the ‘rules’

Types of data

Data can be stored in many different formats called ‘data types’. When setting up a database or spreadsheet, it is important that the correct data type is selected for each field. This is because the data type will determine what can be done with the data held in that field e.g. sorting, searching, calculations etc.

It also can determine the format in which data is displayed e.g. a date/time data type will allow you to pick the format of your choice, 14/05/08, 14 May 2008, 14th May 2008 etc.

Finally, some data types are able to automatically validate the data being entered. e.g.: When you use a date/time data type then each date will be automatically checked to ensure that it can actually exist. For example, you would not be able to enter the date 31/02/2008 - it would automatically be rejected or return an error message.

Types of data:
* Text
* Number
* Boolean
* Date/Time
* Image

Text
A text data type can hold any letter, number, symbol or punctuation mark. It is sometimes referred to as 'alphanumeric' or 'string'. The data can be pure text or a combination of text, numbers and symbols. * Name Joe Bloggs

* Address 101, Any Street
That Town
TR34 9RT
* Telephone Number 01234 567890
* Car Registration EA05 NXR
* Car ColourBlue
Telephone numbers need to be stored as a text/string data type because they often begin with a 0 and if they were stored as an integer then the leading zero would be discounted. You are never likely to want to add or multiply telephone numbers so there is no reason to store it as an integer data type. Number

A number data type contains numbers.
Example:
* Weight in Kg12.25, 19.99, 199.99
* Room measurement in metres14.5
* Temperature (degrees Celsius)37.5

Types of numbers:
* Integers An integer stores whole numbers, either positive or negative. Integers however cannot store numbers with decimal places. * Real Your numerical data might need to be formatted with decimal places. This means it cannot be stored as an integer number. Instead it is known as...
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