RE: Data vs. Information

From: Goulet, Richard <>
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2009 11:53:51 -0400
Message-ID: <>


    I believe from the replies that you've gotten you can surmise that your right. The database stores data that when taken with other data adds up to information. Let me illustrate with an example:  

    Many years ago I was working with a database that stored data from Automatic Test Equipment. One of those testers was part of a machine called TET for Test, Encapsulate & Retest. This was a fairly large machine with a belt that held 400 modules that the factory produced. The first machine was a functional tester to weed out the modules that were dead on arrival. When all of the testers and the encapsulating machine were done the belt would index forward one position for the next module in the line. Part of the machines data points was the date & time that a test was performed. That we can call a data point. I was given a task to tell the engineers how long it took from the start of one test to the next. Pretty simple, take the test time from one test and subtract it from the next giving you the delta. Now graph that & bingo you now have information from the last day's runs. Now add to that the count of modules that tested in each hour & you have a graph of the machine's throuput for a day. Again information that in this case caused a number of people to loose their jobs because the throuput from 11:30 in the evening till 6AM in the morning was zero. True information that the data points did not portray by their lonesome.  

Dick Goulet
Senior Oracle DBA/NA Team Lead
PAREXEL International  

[] On Behalf Of chet justice Sent: Saturday, September 05, 2009 12:37 AM To: oracle-l
Subject: Data vs. Information

I recently tried to make a case for views <> , 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 justice

Received on Tue Sep 08 2009 - 10:53:51 CDT

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