Today, many people use the terms 'data' and 'information' synonymously. This is bad. The two are actually quite different.

Lets define our terms -- data are simply untouched facts and figures. Information, however, is the meaningful knowledge created from data.

Think of a nice house. You can break it down to bricks, windows, wood and other such materials. These items could be considered to be your data - it is when you put them altogether to form a house that these materials will become information. Another example could involve a census. The data (age, gender, occupation, etc.) collected from each household is put together to create information about the population in question.

Of course, it is possible for one man's data to be another man's information. Perhaps the government issues funding to a school and views the amount given as data, but the school may think of it as information as to how much money they can spend. Sometimes classifying if something is data or information can be tricky. Just please remember they aren't the same thing!