What is the definition of information? In my opinion, it is the systematic process by which we collect, store and make sense of data. Information, in a broad sense, is structured, processed and organised information. It gives context to unprocessed data and allows effective decision making. For instance, a single customer’s sale at a particular restaurant is valuable information this becomes valuable information when the company is able to accurately identify the least popular or most popular dish. Without this information, the restaurant cannot make informed choices about what to serve.
In other words, information is quantifiable and measurable. As such, the value of information must be known and quantified. But how do you know what is the definition of information? At face value, we could say that it is the amount of data that effectively represents any concept. For instance, the value of an education is the knowledge base that a new student has when he/she enters a classroom. But it is also the set of skills, abilities, knowledge and information that the student acquires from the teachers and other resources.
So how do you quantify the value of information? Measuring value requires some work. There is no universal standard for measuring what is the definition of information because different types of information are used in different contexts. This is why some sources of information have universal value while others may not.
However, it is possible to draw some generalizations. For instance, in business and other organisations, concepts are typically considered as values or concepts. Thus, the definition of what is the definition of information could also be a list of concepts or a list of value systems.
In information theory, the definition is a collection of things or concepts. For instance, the definition of information may be the set of information processes associated with the process of communication. Or it could be a list of the different ways in which information can be communicated, each associated with a specific meaning. Information systems are then a framework within which these different concepts are stored.
Data are the raw material from which concepts and ideas emerge. Conceptual content arises from data, but the data itself may not have a unique quality or shape. The resulting concept has to be extracted by means of a technique like ‘linguistic programming’. Data has to be organized so that it can be analyzed. Finally, the resulting concept has to be expressed in a meaningful form of expression. So what is the definition of information then, if data has no unique quality or shape?
If data were randomly produced, no two would ever be the same, so why should information be any different? Why do some information systems seem more efficient than others? It’s because the systems that work well extract the unique qualities of data that are not otherwise available to us naturally, and express them in meaningful ways.
We need to take the definition of information very seriously indeed. We are faced with an important choice every day. It’s a choice between what is the definition of information, and what is the use of it? Are we to define information according to its usefulness to society, or according to its value as a distinct category of human thought?
Some people have proposed using the definition of information as a way to decide what is worth building, what is worth studying, what is worth writing, and what is worth thinking about. Perhaps we should look at information this way: what is the definition of information being given to the public, or to those who study the technology involved? That definition must be precise, and it must be true. Otherwise, those who study it will never use it, and what is the use of it? The definition of information should be independent, and not dependent upon what is useful to those who use it, what is of utility to those who study it, and what is of utility to those who write about it.
What is the definition of information then, when we say that it is an ordered collection of facts, and when we say that its meaning is unimportant? Where is the line between information and useless noise? How can one be both relevant and non-relevant?
When you study what is the definition of information, what is the definition of knowledge, and what is the definition of an idea, you get the idea that what is the definition of information is an interesting question, and one that cannot easily be answered. To ask what is the definition of information is to pose difficult questions, and one that is almost impossible to answer in a satisfactory manner. In short, what is the definition of information is a question that is best left to philosophers, and scientists, and those who study the digital universe.