In a broad sense, information is simply processed, structured and organised information. It gives context to other information and allows decision making to take place. An example of this is a single customer’s sale in a restaurant. This becomes information as the company can identify which dish is the most or least popular. In another case, we could say that information is knowledge. Knowledge is information about a particular subject or topic.
Now back to the original question: “What does information exist without data?” The answer depends on your definition of ‘information’. In fact, most people do not realise that there is a difference between data and knowledge. We often mean or say things like: “The information I have learned from my education,” “The amount of experience I have had working in this industry,” “My business goals,” “The customers I have served.”
In short, you can define information as any structured information, knowledge or data that informs your actions. It doesn’t necessarily have to be stored in a database. It can be an ebook, audio book or video tutorial. In essence, all information can be considered information based-you need to either extract it form some medium or work with it in some way. But if you want to maximise your business value or optimise your time/cost/energy then you have to be able to store and process information efficiently and effectively.
The question then is: how do you extract and process information from various forms and sources and make it meaningful to your business? What do you need in your data science / business analytics tools? Let us take a look at the answer… Data is not only valuable but necessary. You cannot run a business without data-this is a commonly understood principle in the information management / internet marketing world-and the sooner you realise this the better you will be able to serve your customers.
There are different types of information available to us. Some data is more relevant to your business than others. Some sources are more challenging to process than others and some forms of media are more ephemeral than others. This is where the usefulness of data analytics tools comes into play: it allows you to not only analyse the information that is available to you (i.e. your website, customer data etc), but to extract the key information (what makes it important to your business), and store and manage it effectively.
So in summary, you must first have the basic understanding of what information actually is, before you can optimise your online presence and make the most of your available online resources. This is an absolute necessary first step before you can start making the best use of your internet marketing strategies and business analytics tools. The most important thing to do however, is to acknowledge that information exists. After this you will be well on your way to making the most of the information that already exists. Finally, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.