March 11, 2018
Data VS Information
Data and information are two words often used interchangeably by people, creating confusion. Data refers to knowledge in a form for analysis. Furthermore, raw data represents a collection of knowledge existing in a state before analysis by researchers. Information, however, refers to knowledge resulting from the analysis conducted by researchers.
People often argue over STEM related concepts (e.g., the influence of humanity on global warming, evolution through natural selection, or harm caused by artificial intelligence) from a position of confusion - presenting data as information or information as data. Take the influence of humanity on global warming as an example. Little logic emerges if you believe the planet remains in some static state, regardless of actions taken by the planet's inhabitants. The question is not, "does humanity influence global warming?", but rather, "by what processes does humanity influence global warming?"
STEM-VRSE believes one way to reduce confusion surrounding STEM related concepts rests on "reliable" data and "good" information. Currently, we are developing a video library to contain the data collected by researchers associated with STEM-VRSE. This library will contain all the data gathered by our researchers. This library will also provide STEM-VRSE with the opportunity to ensure our researchers can produce, archive, and study "reliable" data. In the future, we hope to make this library available to other researchers, as well as individuals within formal and informal learning environments.
Additionally, we are developing a database to archive all analyses associated with videos within the video library. This database will contain the results of analyses conducted by our researchers. As with the video library, we will make this database available to other researchers, as well as individuals within formal and informal learning environments. Understanding the roles and differences between data and information reflect important concpets for better understanding the world we all live in and share.