The words data and information often get used interchangeably.
When we use the term ‘business information’, however, we mean something very different from data.
Data are the individual bits of detail that we collect, obtain or generate as part of our business function. They get stored in databases and we instinctively know that our business data stores are valuable. We spend a lot of money, time and effort ensuring they’re well managed, safe and usable.
When your staff use that data by analysing it, reporting on it, generating metric measures or figures, identifying trends, feeding it to dashboards or doing anything else of meaning and significance to your business, what they’re doing is creating business information.
Information is made from data and has been transformed into something that has meaning, value or significance. Business information is information that holds meaning, value or significance for your business.
It would include any reports, spreadsheets, metrics, regulatory reporting, web pages, documents, dashboards etc that fit the definition of having meaning, value or significance to your business.
It can even be collections of data sources – for instance, we would call your data warehouse a piece of business information, because it brings together your data into something that generates meaningful information.
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