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Information is described as that form of data which is processed, organised, and specific
structured, which is presented in the given setting. It assigns meaning and improves the
reliability of the data, thus ensuring understandability and reduces uncertainty. When the data is
transformed into information, it is free from unnecessary details or immaterial things, which has
some value to the researcher
The term information discovered from the Latin word ‘inform are’, which refers to ‘give form
to’. Raw data is not at all meaningful and useful as information. It is refined and cleaned through
purposeful intelligence to become information. Therefore data is manipulated through tabulation,
analysis and similar other operations which enhance the explanation and interpretation.

Data is defined as the collection of facts and details like text, figures, observations, symbols or
simply description of things, event or entity gathered with a view to drawing inferences. It is the
raw fact, which should be processed to gain information. It is the unprocessed data that contains
numbers, statements and characters before it is refined by the researcher
The term data is derived from Latin term ‘datum’ which refers to ‘something given’. The concept
of data is connected with scientific research, which is collected by various organisations,
government departments, institutions and non-government agencies for a variety of reasons.
There can be two types of data:
Key Differences between Data and Information
The points given below are substantial, so far as the difference between data and information is

Raw facts gathered about a condition, event, idea, entity or anything else which is bare and
random, is called data. Information refers to facts concerning a particular event or subject, which
are refined by processing.
Data are simple text and numbers, while information is processed and interpreted data.
Data is in an unorganized form, i.e. it is randomly collected facts and figures which are
processed to draw conclusions. On the other hand, when the data is organised, it becomes
information, which presents data in a better way and gives meaning to it.
Data is based on observations and records, which are stored in computers or simply remembered
by a person. As against this, information is considered more reliable than data, as a proper
analysis is conducted to convert data into information by the researcher or investigator.
The data collected by the researcher, may or may not be useful to him, as when the data is
gathered, it is not known what they are about or what they represent? Conversely, information is
valuable and useful to the researcher because it is presented in the given context and so readily
available to the researcher for use.a
Data is not always specific to the need of the researcher, but information is always specific to his
requirements and expectations, because all the irrelevant facts and figures are eliminated, during
the transformation of data into information.
When it comes to dependency, data does not depend on information. However, information
cannot exist without data.
Basic for comparison Data Information
Meaning Data means raw facts Facts, concerning a particular event or
gathered about someone or subject, which are refined by
something, which is bare processing is called information.
and random.
What is it? It is just test and numbers. It is refined

Based on Records and Observation Analysis

Form Unorganized Organized

Useful May or may not be useful Always

Specific No Yes

Dependency Does not depend on Without data, information cannot be

information. processed.

Stages of the Data Processing Cycle

1) Collection is the first stage of the cycle, and is very crucial, since the quality of data collected
will impact heavily on the output. The collection process needs to ensure that the data gathered
are both defined and accurate, so that subsequent decisions based on the findings are valid. This
stage provides both the baseline from which to measure, and a target on what to improve.

Some types of data collection include census (data collection about everything in a group
or statistical population), sample survey (collection method that includes only part of the total
population), and administrative by-product (data collection is a byproduct of an organization’s
day-to-day operations).

2) Preparation is the manipulation of data into a form suitable for further analysis and
processing. Raw data cannot be processed and must be checked for accuracy. Preparation is
about constructing a dataset from one or more data sources to be used for further exploration and
processing. Analyzing data that has not been carefully screened for problems can produce highly
misleading results that are heavily dependent on the quality of data prepared.

3) Input is the task where verified data is coded or converted into machine readable form so that
it can be processed through a computer. Data entry is done through the use of a keyboard,
digitizer, scanner, or data entry from an existing source. This time-consuming process requires
speed and accuracy. Most data need to follow a formal and strict syntax since a great deal of
processing power is required to breakdown the complex data at this stage. Due to the costs, many
businesses are resorting to outsource this stage.

4) Processing is when the data is subjected to various means and methods of manipulation, the
point where a computer program is being executed, and it contains the program code and its
current activity. The process may be made up of multiple threads of execution that
simultaneously execute instructions, depending on the operating system. While a computer
program is a passive collection of instructions, a process is the actual execution of those
instructions. Many software programs are available for processing large volumes of data within
very short periods.

5) Output and interpretation is the stage where processed information is now transmitted to the
user. Output is presented to users in various report formats like printed report, audio, video, or on
monitor. Output need to be interpreted so that it can provide meaningful information that will
guide future decisions of the company.

6) Storage is the last stage in the data processing cycle, where data, instruction and information
are held for future use. The importance of this cycle is that it allows quick access and retrieval of
the processed information, allowing it to be passed on to the next stage directly, when needed.
Every computer uses storage to hold system and application software.

The Data Processing Cycle is a series of steps carried out to extract information from raw data.
Although each step must be taken in order, the order is cyclic. The output and storage stage can
lead to the repeat of the data collection stage, resulting in another cycle of data processing. The
cycle provides a view on how the data travels and transforms from collection to interpretation,
and ultimately, used in effective business decisions.

In simple terms, data is unorganised information and information is processed data. These two
terms are so closely intertwined that it is quite common for people to juxtapose them. In the
technical glossary, data means input, used to generate output, i.e. information.

Data are those facts and descriptions from which information can be extracted. Data alone has no
certain meaning, i.e. until and unless the data is explained and interpreted, it is just a collection
of numbers, words and symbols. Unlike information, which does not lack meaning in fact they
can be understood by the users in normal diligence.

What is the difference between data and information?

What actvities convert raw data to make information in information systems?
What is their relationship to feedback?
6 Important Stages in the Data Processing
Posted on April 24, 2013 by Paul Rudo in Full Article Archive