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information

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Narrower Term: 

n. ~ 1. A collection of data, ideas, thoughts, or memories. - 2. The meaningful portion of a signal, as distinguished from noise. - 3. Law · Formal criminal charges against an individual made by a prosecutor without a grand jury.

Notes: 

Information1 and data are near synonyms. Whereas data connotes facts or ideas in their most atomized form, information refers to more complex concepts made up of multiple data elements. Information may take many forms, including words, sounds, images, and formulas.

Information, like data, is independent of any medium in which it is captured as content. Information is intangible until it has been recorded in some medium. Recorded information may be captured in databases, spreadsheets, documents, sound recordings, or motion pictures. Even when captured in a document or other form, the information remains distinct from the medium.

Citations:
(Bergeron 2002, p. 9) Data are numerical quantities or other attributes derived from observation, experiment, or calculation. Information is a collection of data and associated explanations, interpretations, and other textual material concerning a particular object, event, or process. Metadata is data about data. Metadata includes descriptive summaries and high-level categorization of data and information. Knowledge is information that is organized, synthesized, or summarized to enhance comprehension, awareness, or understanding. That is, knowledge is a combination and an awareness of the context in which the data can be successfully applied. Although the concept of data is roughly equivalent to metadata, unlike data, information, or metadata, knowledge implies a human – rather than computer – host. Understanding is the possession of a clear and complete idea of the nature, significance, or explanation of something. It is a personal, internal power to render experience intelligible by assimilation of knowledge under broad concepts.
(Bergeron 2002, p. 9) Data are numerical quantities or other attributes derived from observation, experiment, or calculation. ¶ Information is a collection of data and associated explanations, interpretations, and other textual material concerning a particular object, event, or process. ¶ Metadata is data about information. Metadata includes descriptive summaries and high-level categorization of data and information. ¶ Knowledge is information that is organized, synthesized, or summarized to enhance comprehension, awareness, or understanding. That is, knowledge is a combination of data and an awareness of the context in which the data can be successfully applied. Although the concept of knowledge is roughly equivalent to that of metadata, unlike data, information, or metadata, knowledge implies a human – rather than a computer – host. ¶ Understanding is the possession of a clear and complete idea of the nature, significance, or explanation of something. It is a personal, internal power to render experience intelligible by assimilation of knowledge under broad concepts. Like knowledge, understanding is currently limited to homo sapiens.
(Bouissac 1998, p. 311) [information] A theory of information was first formulated in 1948 by Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver as a theory of communication to study the receiving, conserving, processing, and transmitting of signals. The notion of information, however, goes back to Ludwig Boltzmann (1896), who stated that the increase in information about a certain system is related to a reduction in the number of states of the system and therefore to an entropy decrease. This concept was later generalized by Léon Brillouin (1956), who defined information as negative entropy or negentropy.
(Dictionary of Computing 1996, p. 240) Information must be distinguished from any medium capable of carrying it. A physical medium (such as a magnetic disk) may carry a logical medium (data, such as binary or text symbols). The information content of any physical objects, or logical data, cannot be measured or discussed until it is known what range of possibilities existed before and after they were received. The information lies in the reduction in uncertainty resulting from the receipt of the objects or the data, and not in the size of complexity of the objects or data themselves. Questions of the form, function, and semantic import of data are only relevant to information inasmuch as they contribute to the reduction of uncertainty. If an identical memorandum is received twice, it does not convey twice the information that its first occurrence conveyed: the second occurrence conveys no information at all, unless, by prior agreement, the number of occurrences is itself to be regarded as significant.
(Ralston 1976, p. 658) Information systems accept (as inputs), store (in files or a data base), and display (as outputs) strings of symbols that are grouped in various ways (digits, alphabetical characters, special symbols). Users of the information systems attribute some value or meaning to the string of symbols. Sometimes a distinction is made between the mechanistic representation of the symbols, which is called data, and the meaning attributed to the symbols, which is called information. A given output datum, under this definition, can result in different information to different users.