Collection and Present of Data: Information and Data Definition

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In our daily life we make many decisions. Most of our decisions are basing on available information. Getting information is an important task in order to get correct decisions because information itself is a source of knowledge.

Information Definition

Information is any entity or form that provides the answer to a question of some kind or resolves uncertainty.

Information could be in qualitative or quantitative in nature.

  • Qualitative Information: Information relating to features which describe the person

Ex: Good, bad, ugly, beautiful, responsible, noble, handsome, educated etc.

  • Quantitative Information: Information which can be represented in numerical form.

Ex: Annual income, expenditure, savings, rate of growth, height, weight, marks secured, population, food production, etc.

Good information comes only from analysis of available data in accurate manner.

Data Definition

  • Data is a piece of information in a raw or unorganized form. Data are simply facts they do not provide any solution to a particular problem. We need to analyses the data in order to convert available data into useful information. Data is a plural term. The singular of data is datum.

  • Data is limitless and presents everywhere. We have many problems which are still unsolved. This is because of, either lack of data or poor analysis of data. We need to understand the data clear to do proper analysis that results good information which helps in decision making.

  • The data could be qualitative or quantitative in nature. Quantitative data is called statistical data or simply statistics.

Features of the Term Statistics or Data

  • Statistics are the aggregate of facts: A single fact cannot give any decision-making power. Data should be an aggregate of facts to provide decision making.

  • Numerically expressed: Statistical data is expressed in numerical form like height and weight of a person. Qualitative data (ex: good, bad, ugly, beautiful etc.) is not considered as statistical data.

  • Data are affected by many factors not by just single factor.

  • Reasonable standard of accuracy: Available data never provide 100% accuracy because humane errors and many other reasons. Data is always considered as accurate if it provides around 95% accuracy. The 5% tolerance limit is called as level of significance (also called as permissible error).

  • Predetermined purpose: Data are collected for a predetermined purpose.

Accessibility to data is become easier with technology. Books, Newspapers, magazines, telephone, television, internet and mobile phones etc. are all medium of providing information of various kinds.

We can acquire data in two major forms.

Image of Data Form

Image of Data Form

  1. Primary Data

  2. Secondary Data

Primary Data

Data which is collected for the first time is called primary data which is also called as Original data. There are many sources available to get primary data.

Sources of Primary Data

  • Direct Personal investigation (face to face interview): In this method data is collected directly from the respondent by asking questions. This is most reliable data but there is more scope for personal bias and prejudice of the investigator.

  • Indirect investigations: In this method investigator obtain information by sending questionnaire to respondents through emails, or by calling them.

  • Through correspondent: Correspondents or agents are appointed by the investigator to obtain data from various places. Collected information will be send to investigator. This method is widely used by newspaper offices.

  • Through schedules: Under this method the field workers are asked to go to the respondent with questions contained in the schedule. They collect the answers in their own handwriting and provide data to the investigator. This method is useful when the respondent is illiterate.

  • Through Observation: Investigator can obtain information being a part of the population or else he can get information by observing secretly.

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