Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-03 > 1267862779

From: "Christopher Gray" <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] BCG Standard #24
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 08:06:19 -0000
References: <><COL108-DS25905E8917C142C646A54292370@phx.gbl>
In-Reply-To: <COL108-DS25905E8917C142C646A54292370@phx.gbl>

Michael Hait Sent: 06 March 2010 02:25

> Actually, the word "data" is the plural of "datum," which
> would be equivalent to one piece of information, or an
> information item. Therefore, "data" are multiple pieces
> of information.

I fully support your distinction between data and datum. I also suggest
that we differentiate between data and information.

[The following is an excerpt from Making sense of data and information,
produced by Elearn Training Company and published by Elsevier; copyright

* Data is (sic) unprocessed facts and figures without any added
interpretation or analysis. "The price of crude oil is $80 per barrel."

* Information is data that has been interpreted so that it has meaning for
the user. "The price of crude oil has risen from $70 to $80 per barrel"
gives meaning to the data and so is said to be information to someone who
tracks oil prices.

I'm sure that there are a multitude of genealogical examples. That there is
an entry in a parish register that John Doe was baptised on 25th July 1801
is an item of data. That John Doe - son of Jim Doe and Jane (nee Smith) was
baptised on 25th July 1801 could be seen as information since it is placing
the datum in context.

There are a number of different definitions for data, information,
knowledge, etc - but they all start with data being raw - it simply exists
and has no significance beyond its existence - and gradually adding value
through such connecting (correlating?), and analysis.

As someone who deals with such concepts as data, information and knowledge -
I do become mildly annoyed when the terms data and information are
interchanged, as well as the word data being used when it should be datum.



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