Information Based Decision Making Essay

Words: 2942
Pages: 12

| Information based decision making | Unit 5002V1 | | | 4/1/2015 |

Task 1 (600-700 words):

A.C.1.1 – Examine the nature of data and information

Data comprises of factual information. Data are the facts from which information is derived. Data is not necessarily informative on its own but needs to be structured, interpreted, analysed and contextualised. Once data undergoes this process, it transforms in to information. Information should be accessible and understood by the reader without needing to be interpreted or manipulated in any way.

Knowledge is the framework for understanding information and using it to inform judgements, opinions, predictions and decisions – a pyramidal relationship (See diagram 1)

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| Does not capture individual experiencesDoes not capture tacit knowledge.Larger sample sizes can be costly.Can tell you “what” but not “why”.Even statistical data can be manipulated to show an outcome. | Primary data/ information | Original data, collected for the first time. “From the horses mouth” data. Often collected via questionnaires, interviews. The research determines the parameters of the data collected. | The data is tailored for to answer the research question. | Can be resource and time costly. | Secondary data/ information | Data collected from already existing sources such as newspapers, existing studies/research/surveys. The parameters of data collected will have been set by the original data collector not the current researcher. | The data is already available so can save time and money. | It may be hard to interpret the data to apply findings to your research because it was collected for other purposes. |

Qualitative and quantitative methods both have uses in data capture and analyses. It would be crude to label one method better than the other. The best method depends on the nature of data and the outcome researchers hope to achieve. Often a mixed methodological approach can be informative in my practice. So the approaches are not mutually exclusive.

Primary and secondary data/information can both be useful depending on the objective of data collection. Primary data can be transformed into secondary