Thursday, July 22, 2021

Introduction to Computer and the Internet-Definition of terms and concepts

SOURCE: Introduction to Computer and the Internet Teaching Material

What is data? 

 

To understand more what information is, it is better to relate it with data that is used in the production of information. The meaning of data varies like that of information. Try to understand the following definition of data and then relate it with the meaning of information. Data is a collection of raw facts that represent figures, or details about people, objects, places, ideas or events. Data is a fact or figure collected from measurements or observations about people, events or objects. To illustrate data in detail let us take the administrative function of certain institution. 

 

In many institutions, the following activities are common:- Workers are paid salary, raw materials are ordered, finished goods are supplied, etc. The details (e.g. Name, Age, Sex Salary, Tax, Pension, Deductions, Net salary, Remark, etc.) of each employee and facts and figures about each material and product of the institution are referred to as data. In a library environment, to identify a certain book, the following could be considered as details (data): Title, Author, Publication date, Edition, Publisher, Place of publication, unique number (Call number) of the book, etc. 

 

Data can be defined as un processed information (information which is not organized, analyzed, or classified).One can associate data with raw facts, symbols or figures. 

 

What is Information? 

 

In popular usage, the term information refers to facts and opinions provided and received during the course of daily life. It is a collection of meaningful facts and figures that can be used as a base for guidance and decision-making. Any fact or figure is not necessarily information. To call it information, it has to be useful and meaningful for you (individual, group, organization, or society). 

Information can also be defined as something that some one did not know before. 

Information is something that reduces uncertainty. 

Information is a processed data. 

Information is a clue. 

 

What is Knowledge? 

 

In fact, defining knowledge is difficult as it includes many intangibles such as experience, intuition, judgment, skill and lessons learned. Oxford English Dictionary defines knowledge as “…the awareness and understanding of facts, truth or information gained in the form of experience or learning, the theoretical and practical understanding of a subject or what is known in a particular field”. The term knowledge is used very loosely as it may refer to recorded information such as documents and reports, available within the organization or internalized information which includes experience, emotions, values, hunches and contextual information. Knowledge can also be defined as “fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. It originates and is applied in the minds of the knower”.  

According to the above definitions, knowledge and information are terms used interchangeably to describe the same concepts. The basic building block of knowledge is data. 

 “Knowledge is something that comes from information processed by using data”. Data is specific numerical or symbolic representations of facts about an item, concept or event out of context and with no relation to other things. On the other hand, information is useful organization and selection of facts by adding context through relationship of data. Therefore, knowledge is something that comes from the interpretation and understanding of information with respect to human interests and purposes. However, knowledge is subjective and has different meanings to different people, what is knowledge for one person can be information for the other. 

 

Wisdom can be defined as knowledge that has been implemented /utilized through application. 

The knowledge spectrum can be demonstrated as the collection of events becomes data, data when processed becomes information, information when understood becomes knowledge and knowledge when implemented becomes wisdom. Below event and above wisdom there is nothing, it is more if spiritual rather than material. 

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