What is data, and is it just a collection of anecdotes?

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What is data, and is it just a collection of anecdotes?

In: Culture

Data are just pieces of information. Scientifically useful data are pieces of data which have been gathered under controlled conditions to eliminate errors, biases and poor recording.

Anecdotes suffer from all of those problems.

**Data** is an observation. Example: It’s raining.

**Information** is data (or a collection of data) placed in context to form a conclusion. Example: Understanding what rain is and why it rains.

**Knowledge** is being able to use that information for a certain purpose. Example: Predicting when it’s going to rain (weather forecasting).

**Wisdom** is being able to make a good decision based on knowledge. Example: It’s going to rain tomorrow so I should bring an umbrella.

An **anecdote** is just a story and not directly related to any of this. Example: I forgot to bring an umbrella today so I got soaking wet.