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1.1 Knowledge, Information and Data. AIMS :. To understand the distinction between knowledge, information and data. To understand that data can arise from direct capture, or as a by-product of another operation.

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1.1 Knowledge, Information and Data

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1 1 knowledge information and data

1.1Knowledge, Information and Data

1 1 knowledge information and data


  • To understand the distinction between knowledge, information and data.

  • To understand that data can arise from direct capture, or as a by-product of another operation.

  • To describe the effect of the quality of the data source on the information produced.

  • To understand the need to encode information as data.

  • To understand the problems associated with the coding of value judgements.

  • Understand that information is a commodity and as such can have a monetary value, the level of which depends on its accuracy, its potential use and its particular intended use.

  • Describe the overheads involved in ensuring that information is up-to-date.

Knowledge information and data

Knowledge, Information and Data

  • Data:

    • Raw values relating to facts, events or transactions.

  • Information:

    • Processed data.

    • Data which has meaning and context.

  • Knowledge:

    • The use of information in context, to make decisions.

Knowledge or expert systems


  • Computers use human knowledge to solve problems

  • knowledge as data or rules within the computer

Encoding of information

Encoding of information

  • It is often necessary to encode information as data.

  • Reasons for Encoding.

  • This can lead to problems.

Quality of Data

  • The quality of the data source affects the information produced.

    • Accurate

    • Up-to-date

    • Complete

Valued judgements


  • What is a valued judgement?

Loss of precision due to coding value judgements

Loss of precision due to coding value judgements.

  • A hotel asked customers to score their service in the hotel according to this system:

    1-Excellent, 2-Good, 3-Average, 4-Bad, 5-Poor

    The average mark from 100 customers was 1.8. Are these statements true?

    • All our customers think our service is good or better.

    • Our average score is good to excellent.

    • Our customers think we are consistently good.

  • Think of 2 reasons why this is not always a reliable way of storing information.

Input process output

Input, Process, Output





Data capture

Data Capture

  • Data can arise from different sources:

    • Direct:

    • Indirect:


Date stamping of information

Date-stamping of information

  • Information may be out-of-date by the time it has been processed.

  • Ensuring data is up-to-date can be time-consuming and costly.

Classification of information

Classification of information

  • Source

  • Nature

  • Level

  • Time

  • Frequency

  • Use

  • Form

  • Type



  • A school is planning the introduction of a computer-based attendance system for classes and registration groups. The purpose of the system is to produce information for the following end-users:

    • Class teachers

    • Pastoral managers (tutors/heads of year)

    • Senior managers (e.g. deputy head)

  • For each of the different end-users describe, with the aid of an example, information that the system might produce in relation to their requirements.

Case study

Case Study

  • Collecting Information

  • Or, ‘Nightmare scheme’

  • (Pg 36-37)

Exam question

Exam Question

  • Describe briefly what is meant by data, information and knowledge, giving examples of each. (6)

  • Describe three ways in which data can be or can become, of ‘poor quality’. (3)

Exam question1

Exam Question

  • Travelling sales representatives working in the UK can make extensive use of company credit cards to pay for goods and services. A company credit card is one that is issued by a company to its representative. All charges and information relating to each transaction are sent directly to the company.

    • List 4 items of data which are captured each time the card is used. (4)

    • Other than payment information, suggest one other potential use for information which can be derived from this data. (2)

Exam question2

Exam Question

  • Many market research firms use questionnaires as a means of gathering raw data for companies about the popularity of their products.

    • Explain why IT is widely used in market research. (4)

    • Once the data has been collected, it can be used to give the clients information about their products. Explain the difference between information and data in this context. (4)

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