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What does DATA means ? ( and its relation with information and knowledge )

I am having a major difficulty understanding the meaning of DATA. Yes, i know the theories and the explanations that DATA means raw data, unanalysed, unproccessed and etc. But i need examples to understand this. I know that if we take the example of a statistics, that the data in the statistics are just numbers and without analysing this data it has no meaning, but i need different examples. For example, when you look at a CUP. The cup is what ? When you say ''cup'' isnt that data ? but that also tells me everything i need to know, so its also an information isnt it ? Isnt that also knowledge ? How would you describe a CUP only by its DATA ? Same for a laptop. How would you describe it ? Wheres the DATA ? whats the data ? how to describe a t-shirt only by data ? I cant understand that... If you say ''t-shirt'' even if you dont apply anything else, it still gives me all the information i need, doesnt it ? Please, if anyone can explain this, give me as much as examples as possible. I want examples and comparisons..

Please do not copy any further theories and explanations of ''data''. I have read tons and tons of explanations. I need examples and comparisons, tons of them. Thank you.


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  • Jun 8 2012: Hello Tisho, this is an excellent question.

    For example, when you look at a CUP. The cup is what ? When you say ''cup'' isnt that data ?

    Yes, "cup" is an item of data. Other pieces of data are:
    - the outside height of the cup
    - the inside height of the cup
    - the outside diameter of the cup
    - the inside diameter of the cup
    - the volume that cup can hold
    - the size of the handle
    - the weight of the cup
    - the material of the cup (plastic, ceramic, metal)
    - the number of cups on a shelf

    Generally speaking , an item of data has little or no meaning until you associate it with other data to get information.

    Don't let these concepts confuse you. The concepts of data, information and knowledge are vague and overlap. In the area of artificial intelligence, there is no agreement on the definition of information. Personally, I would like a separate word for knowledge about how to do something, like how to make a cup, or how to color a t-shirt. Unfortunately, the English language can be very vague.

    Hope this helps, and keep questioning data, information and knowledge. Maybe you will develop some rigorous definitions for these terms.
    • Jun 8 2012: Greetings ! Thank you for your answer ! I am proud to tell you that i already fully understand what data information and knowledge means. It turns out that the language is so messy and full of wrong interpretations that its almost all related. Like, learning, understanding, acquiring, wisdom etc. There are so many wrongly interpreted words in our language, not only english, but all of them. Anyway, you seem like you are very knowledgeable about that, so, can i ask you if you happen to know some good books you could recommend me about data processing, information processing, data analysis, and information analysis ? I know there must be tons of them but im also sure most of them are waste of time. So, any recommendation would be appreciated !
      • Jun 8 2012: Tisho, I wish I could recommend something, but I have been out of the field for too long. If you are near a college or university, you might want to get a book for a course in one of those subjects. Of course, you might find one on the web too. I also recall, about ten years ago, finding a site that had a large number of computer courses that you could take, and it was very inexpensive. For a small annual fee you could take all of their courses.

        Good luck with your pursuits.
        • Jun 10 2012: Hey ! Don't about it ! And thanks for the advise !

          Thank you ! I wish you the best of luck too !

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