Data vs. Information

June 27, 2008

Data is just data until it is contextually parsed then it can become useful information and as we all know he who has the best information not the most data rules.

Advertisements

First what do I mean by actionable information?

It is information that comes from a trusted source, is about something that’s important to you, and that, once known compells you to an take action.

So how do we aqcuire actionable information from the fire hose of data we see every day?  Well while it often appears that the volume of information we have flowing through our various data pipes is inherently at odds with the ability for us to make it actionable I think this misses one key point, the fact that the inherent volume of similar data can actually be seen as a positive if the right “mining” tools are in place.

This flow of information more often than not has patterns that can be extracted statistically, syntactically or semantically or using some combination, ie. using syntactic and semantic features to improve statistical recognition.

A good overview of leveraging data using statistics can be found in a talk given by Peter Norvig at Paul Graham’s latest startup school.