DATA AND INFORMATION
What is data?, What is information?
Data refers to raw facts yet to be processed. It is a fact, number or text that can be processed by a computer. Data has no meaning to the user unless processed to get meaningful information.
Source of data
Data can be obtained by any one or more of the following methods.
- Observation of people, activities or event
- Questionnaires result
- Face to face interviews
- Form filling
- Test or examination scores, etc.
Types of data
Data can be classified based on the types of characters or symbols it contains. Based on this, there are four types of data.
- Numeric data
- Alphabetic data
- Alpha numeric data
- Symbolic data
- i) Numeric data: This consist of combination of numbers (0 – 9) only. Examples are 12, 340.23, 3567, 3, etc.
- ii) Alphabetic data: This consists of letter of alphabets (A – Z or a – z) only. Examples are SUM, COMPUTER, SCHOOL.
iii) Alpha-numeric data: This consists of numbers, letters, and special characters. Examples are KRD 637BM, firstname.lastname@example.org, BLK3, Flat 12, etc.
- iv) Symbolic data: This consists of special characters only. Examples are @, #, <, >, etc.
This refers to the result of processed data. It is the detail of knowledge given or received. The output obtained from a computer is information.
Characteristics of Information
Good information must have the following characteristics.
- i) Created and stored: Information can be created and stored on a computer. This information can then be transmitted and used by others anywhere in the world.
- ii) Edited and deleted: The information should be edited and easily deletable.
iii) Shared and distributed: The information should be easily shared across network of computer
Qualities of good information
A good information should have the following qualities
- It should be accurate
- It should be cost-effective
- It should be relevant for its purpose
- It should be timely
- It should be accessible
- It should be computer for its purpose
- It should be current
- It should be easy to use and understand
- It should be suitable and meaningful
FORMS OF INFORMATION
Information can be sent or received in the following forms.
- a) Oral Information: This is obtained in spoke or audio form.
- b) Written Information: This refers to the information given or received in text form either handwritten or typed.
- c) Visual Information: This is the information given as pictures or graphics such as in posters, bill boards, etc.
- d) Audio- Visual Information: This refers to the information obtained from the combination of audio and visual forms. Examples are information presented through forms. Examples are information presented through TV, video or movies, etc.
Presentation of information
Some ways of presenting information are:
- Mass media: Through TV and radio
- Desktop Publishing: Presenting information on printed documents
- Graphic: statistical information may be displayed as bar charts, pie chart, etc.
- Multimedia – texts, graphics and sound may be combined and presented as slide show.