Data is the collection of raw facts and figures. When census survey is undertaken, people undertaking survey go to each and every house, interact with residents and collect facts about number of people, the age group, the income level, the sex etc, which works to volumes when it is collected countrywide. These collected facts do not give any conclusions, but can act as building blocks of many conclusions once it is arranged in an order. These unprocessed facts, which are not arranged in any order, are collectively known as Data, the term which describes the collection of facts. Though the data forms the basis for any analysis, but it has to be properly organized, processed and presented in a meaningful form, which is needed to make one take effective decisions, based on the facts and figures. Computers are capable to store volumes of the data, which can be used into the processing systems, without much hindrance.
Information: It is the data which has been converted and processed so that it gets a definite form and shape, becomes useful and acts as a basis for decision making process. It is intelligible form. Example, In the above example (about data) we have seen that the facts which are collected in census are known as data and to come to any conclusion we need to process this data, so that one can find out the country’s economic position, sex ratio, educational standards etc which is derived only from processing the collected facts, arranging them and giving them a meaningful shape, which is the information. Thus, one has to have the information at his finger tips for making effective decisions as well as driving an organization towards success.
Need for Information: The current modern era has become complex and sophisticated to an extent that one’s survival itself is at stake, in order to survive one has to gain a competitive advantage over others, this forces one to keep him informed about all the determined, based on facts. Thus one, in order to survive as well be successful, needs the information. This information now is playing a key role in one’s personal as well as official life. The information need not be of single facet, but should be of multiple facets, as one in order to be successful, needs multidimensional information, so that one can take a decision keeping many variables under consideration, so that the chances of decisions being wrong can be avoided or decreased to a great extent.
Information in this competitive era is more precious than life as without information one cannot live at all. That’s the power of information, if one has that with him, he can always make an informed choice, thereby adding quality and value to the life.
Human being as Information processor
The humans can be taken as the most ancient and still most prevalent from of data processor. They are the most powerful form of data processor, but have their own limitations. As the human life itself depends on the data which is processed by the human mind for controlling various activities of human body. The sense collected data, by seeing, listening etc. This data which is collected is processed by the brain so that it makes a decision and directs to take an action. For example, when we see fire, our eyes collect data that there is fire and our brain directs us not to processed near fire else we will get burned. Thus it can be seen that the use of data has been from times immemorial knowingly or unknowingly, the data was collected, processed and decision was taken on its basis.