Difference between Data and Information

Data is the collection of raw facts collected from any specific environment for a specific purpose. Data in itself does not show anything about its environment, so to get desired types of results from the data we transform it into information by applying certain processing on it. Once we have processed data using different methods data is converted into meaningful form and that form of the Data is called information Example: If we consider the data in the above figure without the titles or the labels associated with the data (EmpName, age, salary) then it is not much useful. However, after attaching these labels it brings some meanings to us, this meaningfulness is further increased when we associate some other labels, like the company name and the department name etc. So this is a very simple example of processing that we can do on the data to make it information. Once we have clear idea of what data and information is we proceed with another term knows as “schema” Schema is a repository or structure to express the format and other different information about data and database, as we can see from the database definition “Database is a self describing collection of interrelated records.” The word self describing means that the data storage and retrieval mechanism and its format is described in the database, Actual place where these definitions and descriptions are performed is database schema.

Fig. 1: Data and Information
  1. o Database Application:
  2. Database Application is a program or group of programs which is used for performing certain operations on the data stored in the database. These operations may contain insertion of data into a database or extracting some data from the database based on a certain condition, updating data in the database, producing the data as output on any device such as Screen, disk or printer.
  3. o Database Management Systems:
database management system  Difference between Data and Information

Database management system is software of collection of small programs to perform certain operation on data and manage the data. Two basic operations performed by the DBMS are:

  • Management of Data in the Database
  • Management of Users associated with the database.

Management of the data means to specify that how data will be stored, structured and accessed in the database.

Management of database users means to manage the users in such a way that they can

perform any desired operations on the database. DBMS also ensures that a user can not

perform any operation for which he is not allowed. And also an authorized user is not

allowed to perform any action which is restricted to that user.

In General DBMS is a collection of Programs performing all necessary actions associated

to a database.

Further Advantages of Database Systems:

Database systems are very much beneficent to enterprises and businesses, some of the advantages are listed below:

  1. o Data consistency
  2. o Better data security
  3. o Faster development of new applications
  4. o Economy of scale
  5. o Better concurrency control
  6. o Better backup and recovery procedures
    1. o Data Consistency:
    2. Data consistency means that the changes made to different occurrence of data should be controlled and managed in such a way that all the occurrences have same value for any specific data item. Data inconsistency leads to a number of problems, including loss of information and incorrect results. In database approach it is controlled because data is shared and consistency is controlled and maintained.
    3. o Better Data Security:
    4. All application programs access data through DBMS, So DBMS can very efficiently check that which user is performing which action and accessing which part of data , So A DBMS is the most effectively control and maintain security of Data stored in a database.
    5. o Faster Application Development:

The database environment allows us faster application development because of its many reasons. As we know that database is designed with the factor of future development in mind So whenever we have to build a new application to meet the growing needs of the computerized environment, it may be easy due to the following reason:

  • The data needed for the new application already resides in the database.
  • The data might not already reside in the database but it could be derived from the data present in the database

Thus we can say that, to develop a new application for an existing database system less effort is required in terms of the system and database design.

  1. o Economy of Scale:
  2. Databases and database systems are designed to share data stored in one location for many different purposes, So it needs not be stored as many number of times in different forms as it is used, for example the data used by Admission Department of any education institution can be used to maintain the attendance record of the students as well as the examination records of the students. So it saves us lots of efforts and finances providing economy of scale.
  3. o Better Concurrency Control:
  4. Concurrency means the access of database form as number of points simultaneously. Concurrency control means to access the database in such a way that all the data accesses are completed correctly and transparently. One example of controlled concurrency is the use of ATM Machine for withdrawal of money (cash). All ATM machines of a bank are interconnected to a central database system worldwide, so that a user can access its account from anywhere in the world and can get cash from any ATM terminal. As there are thousands of ATM terminal across the world for a specific bank so as a result thousands of user process and access the bank’s database. All this process is managed concurrently using the database systems and is done in such an efficient manner that no two user face any delay in the processing of their requests.
  5. o Better Backup and Recovery Facility:

Data is a very important resource and is very much valuable for any organization, loss of such a valuable resource can result in a huge strategic disasters. As Data is stored on today’s’ storage devices like hard disks etc., It is necessary to take periodic backups of data so that in case a storage device looses the data due to any damage we should be able to restore the data a nearest point, Database systems offer excellent facilities for taking backup of data and good mechanism of restoring those backups to get back the backedup data. It some time happens that a database which was in use and very important transactions were made after the last backup was made, all of a sudden due to any disastrous situation the database crashes (improper shutdown, invalid disk access, etc.) Now in such a situation the database management system should be able to recover the database to a consistent state so that the transactions made after the last backup are not lost.

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