Data is the raw materials from which information is generated. Data are raw facts or observations typically about physical phenomena or business transactions. It appears in the form of text, number, figures or any combination of these. More specifically data are objective measurements of the attributes (the characteristics) of entities (such as people, places, things and events)
According to Loudon and Loudon-
“Streams of raw facts representing events occurring in organizations or the physical environment before they have been organized and arranged into a form that people can understand and use.”
When we process data and convert into a form that is useful and meaningful to the decision maker, it becomes information.
According to James O’Brien-
Information can be defined as data that has been converted into a meaningful and useful context for specific end users. Information is usually subjected to a “value-added” process where- i. Its form is aggregated, manipulated and organized.
ii. Its content is analyzed and evaluated, and
iii. It is placed in a proper context for a human user.
So, we should view information as processed data placed in a context that gives it value for specific end users.
2.2. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DATA AND INFORMATION
| |Data |Information | | |We can define data as “Streams of raw facts representing events |Information can be defined as data that has been converted into | | |occurring in organizations or the physical environment before |a meaningful and useful context for specific end users. | | |they have been organized and arranged into a form that people | | | |can understand and use”. | | | |Data appears in the form of text, numbers, figures, audio, |After process data into a meaningful form, then data becomes | | |video, images or any combination of these |information. | | |Data may not be useful to the decision maker and data must be |Decision makers use information to make decision. | | |processed to become useful. | | | |All data may not become information, because not all data or |All Information must be based on factual data, but only data | | |facts can be relevant at a given moment. |that are relevant to the situation are information. | | |There are many ways to collected data, i.e. surveys, interviews,|Human beings apply facts, principle, knowledge, experience and | | |the use of sensors, the reading of documents and even the |situation to convert data in to information. | | |monitoring of the brain waves. | | | |We can compare data as a raw material to produce information. |We can compare information as finished goods. | | |Data expresses in disorganized and inconsistent way. |Information expresses as an organized and arranged way. |
2.3. QUALITIES OF A GOOD INFORMATION
What characteristics make information meaningful and useful to managers? What qualities give it value for end users? One way to answer these important questions is to examine the characteristics or attributes of information quality. Information that is outdated, inaccurate, or hard to understand would not be very meaningful, useful, or valuable to...