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What similarities are there between data and information?

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gnanu | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM via web

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What similarities are there between data and information?

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nmmoritz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 18, 2012 at 1:20 PM (Answer #1)

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If you look up both words in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary (see link below,) you will see that both words are closely related.

In order to discover the similarities between the two words, it may actually be more helpful to find out how they are different.

I usually think of it this way:  While both information and data are types of knowledge, to me, information is knowledge in its very basic form, while data is a "special" type of information.  In other words, data is usually gathered by observation, experimentation, record-keeping, or the like.  Once data is collected, it can then be used for informational purposes- see below.

To further this discussion, while BOTH information and data can be used to draw conclusions or make judgements for a specific purpose, it is more common that data is collected first, then used and assimilated into a larger "information" group.  This information is then used to draw a conclusion, or make a hypothesis.

 

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