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Module 1 Lesson 1

Information Management 1
Learning Plan
Lesson No: 1
Lesson Title: Data and Information
Let’s Hit These:
At the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
Describe the importance of information for an organization.
Differentiate data and information.
Let’s Get Started:
Identify each of the following if its data or information. Write your answers on a piece
of paper.
Maria’s temperature is 37.5ºC.
4:54 PM
Nilo got a final grade of 85% in ITE 4.
Let’s Find Out:
To answer the simple activity above, item 1 which is just a number, item 3 which is just
a specific point in time, and item 5 which is just a classification of a human being, are all data.
Meanwhile, item 2 which is about the body temperature of a human and item 4 which is about
the grade of a student in a particular subject, are both information. Read on for you to further
Let’s Read:
Business organizations today build and use large quantities of knowledge like never
before. Knowledge has become a valuable tool for businesses. Knowledge facilitates a
company’s day-to-day activities, decision-making and almost every company role within a
business organization. Enterprises are investing in information technology, as they have proven
to generate business economic benefit. This economic benefit can be demonstrated by
increasing competition, increased efficiency, increased income, etc.
Pharmaceutical firms, for example, are subject to strict regulation by the government.
They're making huge investments in information technology just to remain in operation.
Masses of clinical data need to be processed and distributed to satisfy regulatory requirements.
By comparison, storing too much or too little information may have a negative impact on a
company. Sales information is an obvious advantage for making decisions and business
development but it is a disadvantage to store information without adequate data analysis.
Businesses collect and store all sorts of data, whether they are necessary facts about
their daily operations, customers, or products. Raw, unprocessed streams of facts are usually
referred to as data. Entries of numbers, text, images or other forms of computerized output are
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considered data. Raw data, however, is a relative term as data processing may have a number
of stages, so the output from one processing stage can be considered to be raw data for the next.
After, data is processed and shaped in a meaningful form useful to a person or computer, it
turns into information.
Figure 1. Data vs. Information: Sales Receipt to Sales Forecast.
The difference between data and information is determined mainly by how they are
used in a business context. An individual entry on a sales receipt, which has a product name,
quantity and price, does not become “informative” to the business unless it has a purpose or a
meaning. For example, the fact that three cans of curry sauce have been sold at a grocery store,
may not be very useful to many. However, the difference between data and information
becomes clearer when data is transformed into information for a business purpose. For
example, sales entries of the same curry sauce are analysed per quarter and this information
becomes useful to compare quarterly sales to the target figures. When individual data entries
are processed some utility value or meaning is added to raw data to transform it into business
Let’s Remember:
Information is an asset to an organization. When properly kept and used, it can help the
organization improve its processes and increase its revenue because timely, relevant, and
accurate information does serve as a basis in making the right decisions which are critical to
the organization’s growth and survival. Such information is formed out of data which are raw
or unprocessed facts just like the entries in a sales receipt shown in figure 1 and also items 1,
3, and 5 in our simple activity earlier. These data must undergo processing to reveal its meaning
and become useful. After doing that, information is now what we have. It is processed facts
which are now meaningful and can be used for a specific purpose. Just like the quarterly sales
from figure 1 which “informs” how the business sales are doing every quarter like if they are
meeting or not the targeted amount of sales for that quarter. Also, the sales forecast from the
Information Management 1
same figure “informs” as to what the business sales trend will be for that organization during
some specified future time. Items 2 and 4 from our simple activity earlier are also information
because they provide “meaning and are useful.”