# Data Versus Information: What’s the Difference?

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• Data Versus Information: What’s the Difference?

Data and information are not the same things. Data is not usually useful by itself. We need to place data in its proper perspective to turn it into useful information.

## Median

The median is a value that is in the middle of a set of values. To find the median, you first need to order the values from smallest to largest. Then, if there is an odd number of values, the median is the middle value. If there is an even number of values, the median is the average of the two middle values.

For example, if there are nine numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The median would be 5 because it's in the middle of the list.

## What is Data?

Data are raw facts or figures. Data can be numbers, text, images, or any other source of information. It’s a record or set of records that contain information about something. This could be anything from an address, a phone number, a person’s name, or the number of visitors to this article.

## What is Information?

Information is data that has been organized and grouped together to give context. This can be done by analyzing data and creating charts and graphs. An example of information is statistics showing the percentage of men and women who visit this article or the variation in the number of visits during weekdays and weekends. The data becomes information once it is analyzed, organized and grouped together.

Information Is Contextualized Data

## Data Are Only Useful When Organized and Grouped Together

Data on their own are not useful. Data must be organized and grouped together to become information. Data is like the ingredients of a recipe—it must be organized to be useful.

Once you have the data, you must organize, analyze and group them together to create the meaning and context. Data are useful only when they are put into context.

## Common Probability Distributions

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