Steps in Converting Raw Data into Information

What steps should we follow whenever working on a database project?

Difference between Data and Information

Before anything get started lets get one thing straight and define the very thin line that separates Data and Information. Data is basically facts, numbers or statistics, tiny facets of information but can still be incomplete and unorganized to put up a statement. Information on the other hand is the transformation of data once it undergoes processing, structuring and organizing for it to have a context and significance. For example, the numbers you see on a menu when you visit a restaurant will be meaningless if there’s no corresponding dish for it. Same goes when you take note of a certain date without knowing its relevance. Simply putting it, data is a set of raw unorganized facts which can be transformed into information given enough processing, organization and structure.

How to convert Data to Information

In the field of Database Systems, data is considered to be of utmost importance. The first step to have good information is Data Gathering. It is the acquisition of all the needed data whether relevant or not, necessary or unnecessary. A good manager always ingest every piece of data related to the subject in order to maximize the scope of the database.

Second comes the Storage. Database Managers select the most applicable raw data to be a primary key for the project. For example, when working for a restaurant menu, all dishes and offering can be placed on either Chicken, Pork, Fish or Drinks.

After Storage has been set, Manipulation follows. In this stage, planning and layouting is done while considering the possible queries to be used on your data. For example, when working on a student registration system, common queries include Number of Subjects, Summary of Subjects, Available subjects to take and Summary of grades.

Next Retrieval should be able to give us a mechanism on how to answer the queries that had in manipulation. Without this, all the data that we have will be useless and will just be piled up on top of each other.

Lastly, Distribution pertains to the report that we can generate from the database. For example, this can be the registration form that your school gave you after having yourself enrolled.