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1.1 Introduction to Data and Information

Understand the difference between data and information. Learn the fundamentals of these building blocks of the digital world

HomeStorage Area Networking1.1 Introduction to Data and Information

In the digital world, data is constantly produced. This data is used by businesses to make decisions. There are different types of data, including structured and unstructured data. Structured data is organized in rows and columns. Unstructured data is not. Unstructured data makes up about 90% of the world’s data. Businesses use special techniques to analyze this data. The terms Data and Information are closely connected and it’s common for the two terms to be used interchangeably. However, it’s vital to grasp the distinction between Data and Information. In this first post, we will learn what is the Data and Information, types of data and how fast it is generated today with the use of today’s advanced technologies.


Today, we are in a digital world that is formed and outlined by technology and software’s. A colossal quantity of digital information is endlessly generated, collected, stored, and analysed through software in our digital universe. As per Digital Universe Study conducted by IDC, it’s calculated that the digital universe produces approx. 4 trillion gigabytes (GB) of data annually and it’s doubling each 2 years. By these estimates, it’s projected that by the year 2025, the digital universe can expand to forty 5 trillion GB of knowledge.

This information within the digital universe comes from different and selection sources, as well as people living and operating on-line, organisations using technology to run their businesses, and from a spread of “smart” electronic devices connected to the web.

Read: How to access data from intelligent storage systems

Individuals perpetually generate and consume info through various activities, like internet searches, e-mails, uploading and downloading content and sharing audio & video files. The fast increase in on-line social networking and Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets has additionally contributed considerably to the expansion of the digital universe.

Organisations became more and more information-dependent within the 21st century, and data should be offered whenever and where it’s needed. it’s essential for users and applications to own continuous, fast, reliable, and secure access to data and information for business operations to run as needed. It’s essential for organisations to store, protect, process, associate and manage info in an economical and cost-efficient manner. Legal, regulatory, and written agreement obligations concerning the provision, retention, and protection of data and information raise the challenges of storing and managing information.

What is Digital Data & Digital Information

In computing world, digital data is considered as a collection of facts that’s transmitted and saved in a electronic format, and processed through software system. Digital Data is generated by various devices, like desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and electronic sensors.
  • Digital data is stored as a strings of binary values (0s and 1s) on a storage medium that’s either internal or external to the devices generating or accessing the information.
  • The storage devices could also be of various varieties, like magnetic, optical, or solid state storage devices. Examples of digital data are electronic documents, text files, e-mails, e-books, digital pictures, digital audio, and digital video.
  • Based on however the data is stored and managed, digital data may be broadly classified as either
    • Structured Data or
    • unstructured knowledge.
Types of Data
Types of Digital Data, Pic Credits: EMC

Structured data  – It is the type of data that is stored in a relational databases such as SQL and Oracle where data is organised in rows and columns within named tables.

Semi-structured data –  This type of data does not have a standard data model but it has clear self-describing patterns and structure. Examples of semi-structured data are Excel spreadsheets that have a row and column structure and XML files that are defined by an XML schema.

Quasi-structured Data – This type of data consists of textual content with erratic data formats, and its formatted with effort, software system tools, and time. An example of quasi-structured data is the data about webpages a user visited and in what order.

Unstructured Data – This type of data doesn’t have an information model and isn’t organized in any specific format. Some samples of unstructured data are e-mails, displays, images, text documents, PDF files and videos. Approx 90% of the digital data generated these days is non-structured data which is either semi-, quasi-, and unstructured data.

Data and Information Processing

  • Processing and analysing information is significant and critical to any organisation. It allows organisations to derive value from information to take intelligent decisions and improve organisational effectiveness.
  • It is easier to analyse the structured data because it is stored in organised format. On the opposite hand, processing non-structured data and extracting value from it using traditional applications is tough, long, and needs to increase the hardware resources.
  • New architectures, technologies, and techniques have emerged that modify storing, managing, analysing, and bringing value from unstructured information which is coming from various sources.

Also Read: What is Object based Storage System in Cloud Computing

To meet these ever increasing storing and processing digital data requirements, digital transformation initiatives are implemented by multiple organizations to implement intelligent storage solutions.

These solutions provide efficient and optimised storage solution and management of information. These storage solutions also extract value from information to derive new business opportunities for organizations to gain competitive advantage and create new business models and revenue.

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Anil K Y Ommi
Anil K Y Ommi
Cloud Solutions Architect with more than 15 years of experience in designing & deploying application in multiple cloud platforms.

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