How to differentiate between data and information

The modern world generates and uses a definitely astounding amount of info, but it places significantly less of a emphasis on context – to its personal detriment.

Such was the theory put forward by Simon Ratcliffe, principal marketing consultant at Ensono, in his session at Computing‘s modern IT Leaders Discussion board, targeted on info strategy and literacy.

“One of the things we can be absolutely selected about in the modern world is that there is a lot of info, and we are all staying pushed in direction of utilizing info to make our selections,” stated Ratcliffe. But, he extra, he is “not actually a substantial enthusiast of info.” At the close of the day, “it is just a bunch of quantities.” Hoping to use those people quantities to make selections is fairly hard what is significant is info, or info with context.

This is not just a semantic argument, he extra: it is about how we technique info and info, and how we create knowledge inside our organisations.

We communicate about info all the time in the modern world: info scientists, main info officers, info lakes and info warehouses. But often, “we type of pass up the level,” and should go again to fundamental principles to revise what we’re actually seeking for.

For case in point, it is much too straightforward to close up with quantities without context. What is the variety? What does it necessarily mean? But give it context, and the info gets info: it tells us one thing. For case in point, the variety 5,000 usually means absolutely nothing on its personal. Increase ‘feet’ and you instantly know the variety refers to distance. Then you can utilize other info, or correlate it with other info inside your organisation, to transform info into understanding.

“The past piece of the puzzle [(knowledge)] is critical, and unfortunately I imagine it is the part that we fairly usually fall short to unlock in our info methods,” Ratcliffe extra.

“If we can derive knowledge from our info, it provides value to our organisation. Right until that level it is just fact without interpretation.”

On-demand from customers films of the entire day – together with bespoke investigate from Computing about info literacy and a circumstance analyze about the use of info in a healthcare setting – can be located on the event web-site now.