10 Crucial Difference between Data and Information

What is the primary difference between data and information?

Statistical analysis is a research process that starts with the collection of data.  Data is then transformed into information so that it becomes useful to the users.

Many people use data and information interchangeably to mean the same thing but this is quite wrong. The relationship between data and information is quite different.

The main difference between data and information is that data refer to unorganized raw facts that need processing without which it is seemingly random and useless to humans whereas information is a processed, organised data presented in a given context and is useful to humans.

The lesson provides insight into the core difference between data and information in Bengali for deeper understanding.

Difference between Data and Information

What Is Data?

Data refers to raw and unorganized facts that need to be processed in order to be meaningful to the users.

Generally, data comprise of facts, observations, symbols, perception numbers, images and characters among many others.

The good news is that data can be interpreted by humans or machines to make them useful. It may contain numbers, character and statements in raw form.

Furthermore, data is classified into primary and secondary data. Primary data consist of qualitative and quantitative data. Secondary data comprise of internal and external data.

What Is Information?

Information is a form of data that has been processed, organized, structured and specific. The main aim is to assign meaning and improve readability to reduce uncertainty.

The core aim of transforming data to information is to get rid of unnecessary details to bring value to the researcher.

The processed data can be informed of context, relevance and purpose. Therefore, information is simply manipulated by raw data.

Read More: Difference between MD5 and SHA-1

Comparison Chart: Data Vs Information

Basic Terms Data Information
Meaning Raw facts gathered randomly by someone Processed data is meaningful and useful to the user.
Etymology Derived from Latin word known as a datum Has old French and Middle English origin
Format Inform of numbers, symbols, characters and letters Inform of ideas and inferences
Represented In Data tree, graph, structured and tabular data Thoughts, ideas and language
Interrelation Information gathered Information that is processed
Dependence Never depend on information Depend on data
Contains Unprocessed facts Processed facts
Significance Has no significance Has significance to itself
Knowledge level Low level Second level
Measuring unit Measured in bits and bytes. Measured in meaningful units like time, quantity, etc.

Main Difference between Data and Information

  1. Data has no significant meaning while information has topnotch significance meaning.
  2. Data is never analyzed and organized while information is organized and analyzed to bring out the meaning.
  3. The source of data is observation and records whereas the main source of information is data.
  4. Data cannot be used to make an informed decision while information can be used to make a decision since it is useful.
  5. Data refer to input processing whereas information refer to output processing
  6. Data is raw and contain unnecessary elements hence undependable whereas information contains necessary elements and it is processed hence dependable
  7. Information is quite reliable since it conveys some meaning while data is not reliable since the facts are raw and unorganized.
  8. Data is informed of raw facts while information is in the form of processed facts.
  9. Data can be represented in tabular data, data tree, and data graph while information can be represented as Language, ideas, and thoughts.
  10. Information is significant while data is not significant at all.

Comparison Video


The article provides a detailed insight into the core difference between data and information. I hope the information has been useful in your preparation for the exam. Good Luck.

More Sources and References

  • https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/images/285017-data-information-and-knowledge.pdf
  • http://www.infogineering.net/data-information-knowledge.htm

Leave a Comment