Defining Information


Defining Information

Information can be regarded as the answer to uncertainty; it defines both the nature and the essence of an object and therefore answers the question of what it is. However, the concept of information has various definitions in different context. For instance, in computer science, information is the set of data and its structure which are accessible by the use of a particular programming language, in another context it can be regarded as data gathered by scientific methods, in social science information is a set of facts concerning a particular person, place or thing. Information is also used in medicine and engineering. In a very broad sense, information can also be regarded as an abstract idea or a knowledge, which can be objectively analyzed and is necessary for the understanding of events, systems and people.

From a broad perspective we can define information as the relationships that exist between things and their properties, but this definition fails to take into account the way in which information is processed. In simple terms, the meaning of information is either true or false. On the other hand, the process of information processing may consist of verifying information, transmitting information or analyzing information to some form of a knowledge base or product. Verification occurs when you have a reasonable degree of assurance about the content of the information, transmission or analysis occurs when you have a reasonable degree of assurance that something has been transmitted or evaluated and you cannot reasonably doubt its accuracy. In other words, you must be able to trust the source of the information.

Information is also used in computing science to mean a set of programs, techniques, tools and processes that yield a result when executed by a human or artificial intelligence. This definition also includes a number of different subtopics such as information engineering, information theory, information security, information technology and also the field of digital information systems. It is therefore not surprising to find a number of organizations with information technology departments whose prime objective is to develop and maintain different information technologies. Information technology has a significant impact on society, since it enables people to perform a wide range of tasks and helps businesses improve productivity.

The meaning of information therefore is extremely broad and covers a very large number of different activities. Information can include electronic, logical, physical, and informational resources. Electronic resources refer to the means of communication including email, fax, telephony, faxes and telephone services. Logical resources include legal, business, technical, and reference materials. Physical resources include items like paper, ink, devices made of glass, steel, plastic, fabric, and software and hardware.

The definition of information may also include the process by which information is produced or processed. Processes may include the development of a product, the organization’s development and maintenance, distribution of information, management’s use of information, decision making, etc. Information can also refer to the knowledge base or database which contains stored information about various types of things, including people, equipment, places, events, processes. Information can also be a collection of facts, figures, opinions, and other information. In the Internet, for example, there are databases and records that show information about the various products, services, and activities of a company or an organization. Many businesses and organizations use databases and information systems for various purposes.

The importance of information theory is evident in today’s world. Technological change has created vast opportunities in the use of information and it has become an important part of business, government, social organizations, etc. The definition of information is very vague and it includes all the possible ways of information. It also provides a philosophical basis on which we understand the concept of information and how it is used.