by Dinesh Thakur

Information technology is the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. It is the capability to electronically input, process, store, output, transmit and receive data and information, including text, graphics, sound and video as well as the ability to control machines of all kinds electronically.

It is comprised of computers, networks, satellite communications, robotics, e-mail, electronic games and automated office equipment. The information industry consists of all computers, communications and electronics related organizations, including hardware, software and services.

Information is the summarization of data. Data are raw facts and figures that are processed into information, such as summaries and totals. Information is the result of processing, manipulating and organizing data in a way that adds to the knowledge of the receiver. Even though information and data are often used interchangeably, they are actually very different.

Data is a set of unrelated information and as such is of no use until it is properly evaluated. Uponevaluation, once there is some significant relation between data, it is converted into information. Now this data can be used for different purposes. Till data conveys some information, they are not useful.

It is necessary to make a distinction between two terms, which are usually used interchangeably, namely data and information. Data is the material on which computer programs work upon. It can be numbers, letters of the alphabet, words, special symbols etc. But by themselves they have no meaning. For example, the following sequence of digits 240343 is meaningless by itself since it could refer to a date of birth, a part number for an automobile, the number of rupees spent on a project, population of a town, the number of people employed in a large organization etc. Once we know what the sequence refers to, then it becomes meaningful and can be called information. When we write above as 24-03-43, it may mean date of birth as 24th March 1943.

A set of words would be data but text would be information. For example "ANNUAL EXAMINATION, AMIT ABH, JYOTSNA, PHYSICS" is a set of data and "JYOTSNA SCORED THE HIGHEST MARKS IN PHYSICS IN ANNUAL EXAMINATION'" is information. This is not the end of affair, information may be processed or manipulated further of course e.g. a printed text may be reorganized. Also information received from one source or system may become data input for another system. In case of examination, score card is information about the individual but is actually a source of input data for making merit list of the entire board or university. Data is something like raw materials used in production processes practiced in factories or industries. In a paper manufacturing factory bamboos and old clothes are the inputs and paper is the output.

Here is the comparison between data and information:

 What is Information Technology? Explain Difference Between Data and Information

What is Information Technology? Explain Difference Between Data and Information