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Data, information and knowledge

A definition of information

Information is a collection of words, numbers, dates, images, sounds etc put into context, ie to give them meaning.

For example, take these data items from the previous page:

  • 42
  • rabbits
  • 16:00
  • 76
  • apples
  • 09743245530
  • £40
  • seaside

When used to form part of a sentence they gain meaning:

  • There are 42 apples in that box and each one of them has been nibbled by rabbits.
  • The fare to the seaside is £40 and the journey takes 76 minutes by rail.
  • My telephone number is 09743245530. Call me at 16:00.

This is information - data put into context.

Back to Data, information and databases index

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