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Page 1

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Data, Information &
Knowledge

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Input-process-output

INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT



Input ­ incoming data that computers read
Process ­ the operation that turns data into
information
Output ­ displayed or printed information,
or perhaps sound

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Data, Information & knowledge
Data
­ the stream of recorded facts, events or transactions
­ may be encoded
Information
­ data that has been processed into a useful form
Knowledge
­ Is concerned with how to do things, with causes and
consequences
­ In ICT terms it is concerned with…

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Knowledge
Knowledge Workers
­ Generally people in professions
­ Specialised knowledge makes them `experts'
­ They create new products, or provide services, or make
decisions:
· Based on formal and informal rules that they have learned
through training and experience
Knowledge-based systems (Expert Systems)
­ Many rules are based on…

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Using a knowledge base
There are many on-line knowledge bases
A user will typically be asked to supply answers to a
series of questions
The program will then respond:
­ Either with a course of action
­ Or with a reduced set of possible answers
Such systems exist for:
­…

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Sources of data
Data can be collected from many sources,
either:
­ directly - collected for a specific purpose
· For example, library or payroll
­ Indirectly - derived from data originally collected
for an entirely different purpose
· Information collected from credit card use
· Shopping patterns
· Used…

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Encoding information as data
Encoded data may often only be meaningful when
put into context by some process
­ For example a string of numbers may represent payroll
information
· Paynumber, date, start time, finish time, quantity picked
· Unless you know where one field starts and the other finishes…

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Quality of data
To be useful, data must be:
­ Accurate
­ Up-to-date
­ Complete

How many web-sites can you be sure of in
this respect?

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