What is information?

A nice and simple definition of information is the following one:

Data that are meaningful or useful to the recipient

Source: Management Information Systems, Davis en Olson, 1985

According to this definition:

  1. information can never be meaningless or useless for the person receiving them
  2. a certain group of data can contain more information for one person than the next
  3. the presentation format of data can be decisive for the informative value
  4. time and place of the data's availibility can determine whether something is information or not

Remarks 1 and 2 are about the type of data, while 3 and 4 refer to form and distribution. Different formats of presentation at the right time in the right place can far more easily be obtained in this era of fast internet and fancy graphical tools compared to only ten years ago.

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