Enchanted Code

# Data And Information

## Intro

In this tutorial we will be taking a look at data and information. By the end you should be able to recognise the difference between them both.

Watch the video version on: YouTube.

## Data

Starting off with data, you can think of it as raw “facts and figures” that do not make sense on their own, because they lack context.

Here are some examples of data:

• 100
• 2.4
• Leo
• £4

As seen in the examples we would have to guess the meaning of the values. So they are not as useful to us.

## Information

Looking at our data we get very little hints on what it is relating to. However with information we will. Information is data that has been processed and given meaning, so it does not lack context.

Here are some examples of information:

• There are 100 items for sale
• 2 plus 0.4 equals 2.4
• I have a friend called Leo
• The shipping fee is £4

Now we have some context relating to the data from the last example, we can work out what it relates to.

## Turning Data Into Information

Now we will investigate how we can turn data into information so it is useful to us.

If we start off with a table of data like shown below, which may look similar to a spreadsheet, where we have rows and columns of data. However we currently lack any context to understand the data for example we don’t know what “NO” or “YES” means.

Leo £1200.00 NO
Steve £1200.00 NO
Max £1400.00 YES

Now if we fill in headers for each column and we can start to make sense of our data. Therefore it has now turned into information.

Employee Name Yearly Salary Is Manager
Leo £1200.00 NO
Steve £1200.00 NO
Max £1400.00 YES

## Knowledge

Once we have information, we might want to act from it. This is when we have knowledge. Knowledge allows us to turn data into information and allows decisions and rules to made from it.

Here’s an example:

• 2 -> There are 2 items in the basket
• £2 -> Postage is £2 per item

As we have context with the data we can determine that the total cost of shipping is going to be £4.

## Conclusion

In this tutorial you should now know:

• Tell the difference between data and information
• Know that with context we only have data
• Spreadsheets can aid us in turning data into information
• We can store data in an organized/structured way to become information