Monday, March 18, 2013

Data vs. Information

Binary representation of this blog post title.
I recently heard someone ask, "What's the difference between data and information?"

I immediately recalled when this question was answered for me in a computer science textbook for a course I was taking at prep school:

"Information is processed data."

Simple! I wish Wikipedia could summarize it like that.

Record the outside temperature for a year and you have data. Analyze the data to conclude that summers are hot and winters are cold and you now have information.

In business, the trick is to take technical data and process it into salient marketing points.

The first iPod had 5 GBs of storage (data) which is 1,000 songs (information) in your pocket.

Of course, one person's information is another person's data.

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