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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 30: What is information?

A critical factor in any decision is ultimately the information on which it is based. What is information?

Information usually applies to a kind of knowledge gathered from various sources (by observation, from other people or books, for example) and accepted as truth. The term carries no specific implication regarding the extent, character or soundness of that knowledge. Often, indeed, it suggests no more than a collection of data or facts, either discrete or integrated into a body of knowledge.

Facts, by contrast, are pieces of information that are known by observation or proof to be true or real.

Data (actually the plural of datum, a Latin form, but now often used in the singular) is a formal word for a large body ...

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