Data is everywhere around you, what is normally lacking is information. Literally everyone is throwing around data these days, from politicians throwing out unemployment numbers to business owners throwing out revenue earned last year – everyone loves a good bit of data, but is it helpful? The old adage that “statistics don’t lie, but liars use statistics” is just as true for data. Since business runs every day on data (and too little on information), it is important you realize the difference so you can reWORK your business.
What is Data?
Data is raw; it is the specifics without the context. Here are examples of data:
- Betty is in love
- Cheerios® lowers cholesterol
- Company made $800,000 in revenue
What is Information?
Information is data in context; it is data you can easily process and act upon, and, most importantly, it reflects true reality. To add some context to the list above:
- Betty is in love with Fred, not you
- Cheerios® helps to lower cholesterol as part of a heart-healthy diet
- Company made $800,000 in revenue and had $900,000 in expense
Who needs Data Then?
Well, everyone. Without data you cannot have information. The trick is getting “good” data that you can mash up to get really good information.
Show Me an Example!
What would you like to see? Leave a note in the comments below. Next week I will show you - with pictures even - how to harness the power of Excel and PowerPivot to get information from your data.