Re: Data vs. Information

From: Michael Moore <michaeljmoore_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2009 07:49:12 -0700
Message-ID: <26fdee6e0909070749y6fbf4cf3qa516566aad8879ec_at_mail.gmail.com>



I agree with Binay. And by extension, IF it was true that all people assign the same meaning to the same collections of symbols, then it would also be true that there is no difference between data and information. This is the 'assumed ideal' and, while provably false, is true most of the time, and such provides a 'practical' starting assumption for the data modeling task.

If we discover that users are not getting the same meaning (information) from the same data presentation, the solution is, most often, not to change the data presentation, but instead to educate the user.

I believe that at the core of this discussion on data vs information is the study of "how people know" or "how people derive meaning". The answers to these questions are best addressed in the field of psychology and to some degree philosophy rather than computer science.

Mike

On Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 1:32 AM, Binay Kumar <Binay.Kumar_at_servista.com>wrote:

> Data is nothing but the collection of Symbols and when you assign meaning
> to it becomes information. Isnít it that simple!!!
>
>
>
>
>
> Binay Kumar
>
> ------------------------------
>
> *From:* oracle-l-bounce_at_freelists.org [mailto:
> oracle-l-bounce_at_freelists.org] *On Behalf Of *Michael Moore
> *Sent:* 07 September 2009 03:47
> *To:* chet.justice_at_gmail.com
> *Cc:* oracle-l
> *Subject:* Re: Data vs. Information
>
>
>
> Information is that which informs. It could be data, or it might not be.
> The fact that the button in the upper left corner of my window is red (mac)
> 'informs' me that this is the button to push in order to close the window.
> Something that informs me, might not inform you at all. So, in order for
> something to be information, there must be an observer. Two observers of the
> same data might both derive different information. Data are symbols which
> have the 'potential' to inform.
> Mike
>
> On Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 9:36 PM, chet justice <chet.justice_at_gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> I recently tried to make a case for views<http://www.oraclenerd.com/2009/09/case-for-views.html>,
> in the last line of the post I wrote:
>
> Records in a table typically constitute data. Tables, joined together, in a
> view, tend to *turn that data into information.*
>
>
> A very good friend and mentor who has like 27 masters degrees took umbrage
> with this statement. He said that data is information.
>
> While I don't necessarily disagree with him, I tried to frame it in the
> context of a database. I've always been told, or read, or heard, that a
> database stores data and from that, you get information (in the form of
> queries, reports, etc).
>
> Am I off my rocker here? Am I misinformed? Or just misspeak?
>
> More than anything I think it was more of a theoretical discussion, but I
> have enough respect for this individual to give it further thought?
>
> Anyone have an opinion or links on the subject?
>
> chet
>
> --
> chet justice
> www.oraclenerd.com
>
>
>

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Received on Mon Sep 07 2009 - 09:49:12 CDT

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