ANSWERS: 5
  • What an odd question. The words data and information are used interchangeably. In the computing realm, data simply means a collection of information. It may or may not have meaning to you in its present context, but it means something to someone or something. A spreadsheet full of numbers is data. But it means nothing to you without context. Even with context, you may know what the data represents, but you may not know its significance. That's where knowledge comes in. The same can be said of a computer program file. If you looked at the raw data, it would mean nothing to a non-machine. If you looked at the data decompiled into programming language, it would mean nothing to a non-programmer. A programmer would be able to make sense of it though. Am I rambling? Does that answer your question?
  • Data and information are so similar that distinction of terms doesn't seem useful. Knowledge is information which you have processed in a way to make it usable or useful. So knowledge is the highest, most useful form of data/ information. Good question.
  • Data and information are pretty much interchangeable, with the few exceptions to the vernacular, such as a Data Processor more or less just enters information into a system or program while an Information Technology professional (IT) can do the same, but usually has more knowledge of the systems used and the machines themselves. Also in this way, "data" can be seen as a more specific form of "information". Knowledge is indeed the data and information that you have processed, as previously mentioned, but I would argue (sorry zazzy_one!) that it is not the highest, most useful form of these. Wisdom is.
  • The ones and zeros on your hard drive are data. When you open a computer file and read it, it has organized / formatted itself into information. However, a mammoth spreadsheet, with a hundred rows and columns, while technically information is still not knowledge. It is still largely inaccessible. This is where data-mining comes in. It is a way of organizing the information so that the salient features rise to the top. But beware, the multiple ways of interpreting information into knowledge is how people use statistics to mislead. Information is organized data. Knowledge is organized information. So: Data is a closed book. Information is a book being read. Knowledge is you reflecting upon the book to see what you have retained and concluded about it. When I hold a book in my hand, I have data but no information. I have to open it and read it. If we find a book written in a martian language, we have data but probably no way to access the information.
  • Data is raw facts, information is processed data in a form that makes sense to users. Knowledge is gained from remembering information.

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