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BTEC National in ICT: Unit 3 - Data vs Information
Information Systems Data vs Information
Data vs. Information• Data is ... ... a collection of raw facts and/or figures that have not yet been processed, e.g. times, weights, measurements, sales• Information is therefore ... ... data that has been manipulated so that some meaning can be derived from it, e.g. TV listing, bus timetable, top 40 singles download chart.
Data Examples• Yes, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes• 42, 63, 96, 74, 56, 86• 111192, 111234• None of the above data sets have any meaning until they are given a CONTEXT and PROCESSED into a useable form
Data into Information• To achieve its aims an organisation will need to process data into information• Data needs to be turned into meaningful information and presented in its most useful format• Data must be processed in a context in order to give it meaning
Examples• In the next 3 examples explain how the data could be processed to give it meaning• What information can then be derived from the data? Suggested answers are given at the end of this presentation
Example 1 Yes, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, Raw Data Yes, No, Yes, Yes Responses to the market Context research question – “Would you buy brand x at price y?” ProcessingInformation ???
Example 2 Raw Data 42, 63, 96, 74, 56, 86 Jayne’s scores in the six Context AS/A2 ICT modules ProcessingInformation ???
Example 3 111192, 111234 Raw Data The previous and current Context readings of a customer’s gas meter ProcessingInformation ???
Suggested Answers• Example 1 – We could add up the yes and no responses and calculate the percentage of customers who would buy product X at price Y. The information could be presented as a chart to make it easier to understand.• Example 2 – Adding Jayne’s scores would give us a mark out of 600 that could then be converted to an A level grade. Alternatively we could convert the individual module results into grades.• Example 3 – By subtracting the second value from the first we can work out how many units of gas the consumer has used. This can then be multiplied by the price per unit to determine the customer’s gas bill.
Quantitative vs. Qualitative• Quantitative data is ... ... data or information that can be measured numerically and can be proven as fact.• Qualitative data is ... ... data/information that cannot be measured in the usual way. As such, it is usually in some sort of narrative form (spoken or written).
Characteristics of Good InformationData should be: Valid Reliable Timely Fit for purpose for which it was intended Accessible Cost-effectively gathered
Common Data Collection TechniquesThese can include:• Application form - (could be for a job or even for a library card)• Registration form• Questionnaire - (you might create one or you might be asked to complete one)• Interview - (this could be recorded on paper or using an electronic device such as a tape recorder)• Observation - (this will be where you watch something to gain information)• Discussion• Online forms
Sources of Internal InformationInformation gathered and generated from various internal departments:• Finance• Personnel• Marketing Department Internal• Purchasing• Sales and customer services• Manufacturing• Distribution• Administration• Research and Development (“R&D”)
Sources of External InformationGathered and generated from various external organisations:• Government• Trade groupings• Commercially provided• Databases• Research External
How Organisations use Business Information• Give operational support (e.g. monitoring and controlling activity)• Provide analysis (e.g. to identify patterns or trends)• Assist decision making (operational, tactical, strategic)• Gain a commercial advantage over competitors
Information Flows• To fully understand how functional areas within an organisation interact and exchange information, it is necessary to analyse the types of information that flow between them.There are two types of information flow:• Internal information flow - information generated by functional areas, is shared with other functional areas within the organisation• External information flow or passed to agencies outside the organisation
Management InformationUses IT tools to produce management information usually fromdatabases(Useful introduction to the Databases Unit)
Legal Issues• There is significant legislation with which an organisation must comply.• Some legislation not only applies to individuals as employees, but also to individuals in the population at large –• This includes the following: – Sex Discrimination Act 1975 – Race Relations Act 1976 – Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
LegislationRelevant data protection• Data Protection Act 1998• Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)Other relevant legislation• Computer Misuse Act 1990• Terrorism Act 2000• Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003
Ethical issues• Concerns ethical issues rather than criminal acts, where the term ethical means a generally accepted type of behaviour.• Ethical behaviour requirements are usually set through Codes of Practice or Organisational Policies set by organisations.They may cover:• Responsible and appropriate use of email and the Internet• Whistle-blowing• Information ownership
Security of Information• Computer security is a very important issue for any organisation that uses ICT to support their business activities.Possible threats include:• Theft of data• Damage to data• Loss of serviceRecommended protections include:• Anti-virus suites• Firewalls• Physical security• Regular backup procedures• Encryption
Summary Information = Data + Context + Meaning ProcessingData – raw facts and figuresInformation – data that has been processed (in a context) togive it meaning