AS ICT, Section One

- Data, information & Knowledge


The meaning... DATA - Raw facts or figures or a set of values, measurements or records of tranactions.

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What exactly is data? There are a number of forms that data can take. Data can be: - Numbers - Words - Images - Sound Data are details that are meaningless because they lack relevance. If you look at data, it is either no use to you or not in a form that you can use.

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What ways can data arise? Data can arise in a number of ways and these are: - From automatic measurement of enviromental quantities. - From a survey. - From the output of a management information system. - From a transaction. - From the results of an experiment.

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Data and Information

What are the differences between data and information? Data are the raw values put into, stored and processed by a data processing system and that information is produced together with a context that adds meaning. Raw data is relative because data proccessing often occurs in stages so the 'processed data' from one stage can be the raw data for the next stage of processing. £23,712 £28,932 £35,067 The above set of numbers is data. It tells us nothing because there is no context. We do not know if they are a premiership player's weekly wage, the price of a car or the valu of a sales of own brand baked beans in the week. No new knowledge is gained by looking at these figures and on their own, they are impossible to understand. If we are told that the data refers to the first three months' sales of baked beans in a store, the 'the first three months' sales have steadily increased' is information.

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The meaning... INFORMATION - Consists of processed data or data with a context

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Information comes from the processing of data. People or computers can find patterns in data which gives them information and the information enhances their knowledge about the subject. Information is data which has been: - Processed. - Converted to give it meaning. - Organised in some way.

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The meaning... KNOWLEDGE - Is derived from information by applying rules to it.

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Knowledge is how to interpret and apply information by applying rules and once this is done, decisions can be made on the information recieved.

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Data, Information & Knowledge

The relationship between data, information & knowldge... Here are a few examples to help you understand the relationship between data, information & knowledge. Here are a list of numbers: 4.31, 4.18, 4.29, 4.32, 4.19, 4.21. It is impossible to know what they mean as there is no context, so these numbers are data. If however we know that they were race times, we are adding a context, so this set of numbers becomes information. processing of the data in some way, for example finding the fastest time, also produces information. Knowledge is applying rules to the information, For example, in this example the rule is that the runner with the fastest time wins the race!

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