What is Information ? - IBM Mainframe

Information is nothing but refined data. According to Burch and Grudnitski, "information is data that have been put into a meaningful and useful context and communicated to a recipient who uses it to make decisions." Information involves the communication and reception of intelligence or knowledge. Information apprises and notifies, surprises and stimulates, reduces uncertainty, reveals additional alternatives or helps in eliminating irrelevant or poor ones, influence individuals and stimulates them to action.

In business, information should give warning signals when something starts going wrong, or even better, before something starts going wrong. It should predict the future with reasonable level of accuracy; it should help the managers make the best decisions; or more importantly it should prevent them from taking wrong decisions. Information should help organizations to survive, thrive and beat the competition.

Information consists of data, images, text, documents and voice, often inextricably intertwined, but always organized in a meaningful context. The term data will be used throughout this text to encompass all the components of information. But it is important to remember that information is more than mere data. This is explained in the following figure. Notice that the data that is being processed or refined can be input, stored or both. Another point to remember is the cycle of information.

Data are processed through models to create information. The recipient receives the information and then makes a decision and takes an action.This triggers other actions or events, which in turn will generate large amounts of scattered data, that are captured and serve as input and the cycle starts all over again.

Information Cycle

Information Cycle

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