Why is it so important to understand the difference between data and information?

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Data is the physical representation of information in any form. It could be a piece of paper containing information or a data unit in a computer system. Data is a technical concept, while information is an abstract notion. The importance of distinguishing between the two in the context of SAP ILM becomes apparent when you consider the following two notions:

Information can be stored redundantly as different data

Disposing of data does not necessarily mean that you have lost or destroyed information. In an ILM strategy it is not sufficient to simply delete data. You have to think about the information you want to destroy and then delete all the necessary data carrying that information.

This is also key in trying to interpret legal requirements.  A law will often dictate that you destroy data after a certain number of years (e.g. employee data). What is really meant, though, is that you are to destroy the information about that person.