getting an understanding of what to know and an idea of each topic


topic 1 - data, information and knowledge

Data is a set of raw facts and figures that have not been processed by the computer.

ways in which data can arise-

-from a survey

-from a transaction

-results in a experiment, etc.

information is data that has been processed by a computer to give it meaning or data which has been given context.

ways to process data-

-performing calculations


-decision making


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knowledge is derived from information by applying rules to it.

Data= 10.2 seconds, 12.6 seconds, 11.3 seconds

information= in order, times are 10.2s, 11.3s, 12.6s 

knowledge=the winner is the shortest time: 10.2s

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encoding data

data is sometimes coded when it is input into a computer system.

  • e.g. -country-GB=great britain, IRL= ireland
  • S= small, M= medium, L= large, ...
  • BL=blue, GR=green.

reasons for encoding data:

  • less effort to type in.
  • more data can appear on the screen
  • takes up less storage space
  • easier to check that a code is accuarte using validation.

a problem with encoding data is that it is reliant on value judgements and subjective opinions.

imagine a database field for storing heights, for e.g. with three codes for s (small), m (medium), T (tall). relying on value judgements in this situation could lead to data which is less accurate because people will have different opinions about what tall or short is.

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topic 2 - value and importance of information

information is only of use if it is:

  • up-to-date
  • accurate
  • complete


information should always be date stamped so that there is no danger of using out-of-date information. if personal information then unde the data protection act, there is a legel requirement to keep it up-to-date.


-if the info kept is personal and the person whom it is about suffers loss as a result of wrong info the company can be sued.

-not following the data protection act may lead to prosecution.

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continued - accurate and complete

accurate: information from a computer system must be as accurate as it can be, because errors can result in:

  • customers sent wrong items-cost money to sort out and upset the customer.
  • customers being invoiced the wrong amount- waste time sorting out and may damage customer trust.
  • buyers basing their stock ordering decisions on incorrect sales information, resulting in stock having to be sold cheaply.

complete: important that all the information is complete, as incomplete data can cause many problems such as:

  • an order may only be partly fulfilled because an item was not in stock at the time. then the rest of the order is not sent later, resulting in an upset customer.
  • not including a postcode on a letter, therefore the letter being received late or not at all.
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costs associated with data collection

costs associated with data collection:

  • cost of employing someone to design forms
  • cost of staff to work through documents to collect the information
  • setting up questionnaires to collect data

cost associated with data entry:

  • HR costs- cost of any staff performing data entry, cost of training the staff, cost of specailist staff needed for programming.
  • time costs- entering data with keyboards takes time, this can slow down the process from collecting to production of info.
  • hardware costs- money on automatic methods of data entry like bar coding.
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costs associated with processing and maintenance

financial costs-

  • consumables costs such as printer paper and ink
  • data may need to be transferred from one place to another using expensive communication lines.
  • outside firms may be used to ensure that data is backed up off-site.

human resource costs-

  • specialist staff needed to give instructions to database to process data by extracting specific details.
  • staff emplyed to analyse the information from the system and to produce more meaningful reports.

time costs-

  • processing large amounts of data takes time.
  • backing up files of large amounts of data is necessary but also time consuming.
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topic 3-quality of information






A-audience or age

D- level of detail

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continued topic 3

finding information

1) interent- provides huge amounts of information which is up to date

2) intranet- internal network, viewable by staff only.

3) CD-ROMs- info cannot be altered and also holds large amount of info.

4) non-ict sources- paper based e.g. maps, letters, reports, newspapers.

managers may need internet for:

- tax info

- supplier info

- info on competitors

- details of venues for meetings 

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