Data vs. Information: New and More Precise Ways to Categorize Data

This presentation first looks at the gap between raw data and information which helps decision-making.  Most of the industry chatter about data quality focuses upon raw, granular data describing discrete events and entities inside the enterprise and around it. However, a single fact (or “cell”) of data without context is not very meaningful.  Hence, we assemble many facts, aggregate them, calculate ratios and trends, often in the context of a data warehouse.   It is information (data assembled and placed in proper context) which is more meaningful to the decision-maker.

We will look at numerous examples between raw data and derived data (“information”) which show us trends, patterns, etc.  Examples come from astronomy, military intelligence, and criminology.

As an enterprise is inundated with more data (raw, intermediate, and advanced information) the designing and population of good metadata becomes even more important.  We will look at nine distinct kinds of metadata.  Not all kinds are of equal importance, but we will show the purpose and value of each.  The larger the organization, and the more diverse the “institutional memory”, the more important it is to properly document the data asset for broader exploitation of its value.  Ignorance of institutional memory can be disastrous.

 Michael Scofield
Michael Scofield, M.B.A. is an Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University.  He is a frequent speaker and author in topics of data management, data quality, data visualization, and data warehousing.  He has spoken in over 27 states, Canada, Australia, and the U.K.

Audiences have included 24 DAMA chapters, 5 TDWI chapters, 14 ASQ chapters (American Society for Quality), and many accounting professional organizations.  He also guest lectures at several universities.

His career experience includes some time with a CPA firm, developing an accounting and general ledger system for a major California bank, as well as experience in government, manufacturing, finance, and software development.  Now semi-retired, he still does pro bono data mining and data quality analysis for non-profit organizations.   His greatest interest currently is data visualization, data quality assessment, and using graphic techniques to reveal business and economic behavior.   He also has humor published in the Los Angeles Times, and other journals.

Location Details:
Principal Financial
Room 750-1A18
750 Park Ave
Des Moines, IA 50309

Guests can park on the 5th floor of the new 701 Grand Parking Garage.  (Press the Call button and say you are with the DAMA event.)   Visitors can enter on 1st or 3rd floor (Skywalk) of 711 High Street.

Hosted by: Principal