Brief Historical Review of the Development of the Distinction Between Data and Information

R. Gray. 9th Americas Conference on Information Systems , page 2843--2849. Tampa, Association for Information Systems, (2003)


It is a commonplace among contemporary information systems professionals that the concepts of data and information are obviously distinct and clearly understood. Through a review of the historical literature, this paper shows that, in fact, the distinction is not obvious, that it is an outgrowth of work in the information systems area, and that the distinction is not clearly understood. The paper briefly notes some of the implications of this historical development for information systems theory. This paper will be of interest primarily to academics and those with an interest in the conceptual foundations and theoretical frameworks guiding Information Systems research.

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