What Is Information Communication Technology and How Does It Affect Us?
In its simplest terms, information is “processed, structured and organised information”. It gives context to already processed data and allows effective decision making. For instance, a single consumer’s sale in a particular restaurant is data- this becomes information once the company is able to associate the most popular or least preferred dish with that consumer’s birthday. This is an example of information processing. Information can become much more complex and in some cases have legal implications.
We live in a world where big data has the potential to affect every aspect of our daily lives. How often do you ask yourself “how did that happen? That person must have done that”. Well, the answer is technology. It wasn’t some engineer sitting down designing the software that changed the way we shop. It was the invention of the internet, which made it possible to process that massive amount of information and make sense of it.
The internet now stores vast amounts of information. It also connects us to other people and businesses all over the world. These days, people tend to use the internet for research purposes. Researchers can use search engines like Google and Bing to search for specific information they need. This in turn, makes it possible for them to access previously inaccessible data.
For companies, this information is often used to improve services or product lines. For instance, Amazon uses information provided by algorithms to recommend what best sells in their range of products. Online retailers can take advantage of this new and exciting form of “renting out” information. In this case, the retailer is not the one who knows the most information but the service or product owner who is paying the retailer to store that information. However, the internet has made the process much easier.
A new service called crowdsourcing has also started to emerge. In this process, one can post an information question on any topic. Then, people who know the answer can answer it online. The information becomes available to the public once an adequate number of responses are received. Thus, knowledge is not stored in one place but spread out into many different locations. Furthermore, the answers can be compared and evaluated objectively.
Information can become more useful when it is taken in its raw form. It can be used to suggest solutions, resolve problems or make informed decisions. On the internet, this information is already available for anyone to access. Therefore, the only thing left for us to do is to harness its power to help us make better-informed decisions and better lives for ourselves and for our communities.