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Using an example from your work, identify the characteristics of good information. You should also use this example to illustrate the difference between information and knowledge. Outline how this information is transformed to serve the information needs of the three levels within your organisation. Information Technology is about combining the best technology available (subject to an organisation's budgetary, technical, human and other resources) to process and manage information so that it can be used efficiently, effectively (and legally) within an organisation. Computers are capable of using programs to process data (which has been input into the computer) and performing arithmetic or logical operations to supply results. Individual solitary items of data tell us nothing of any consequence and must be combined with other items and organised so that they are meaningful, to provide useful "information". Although most of us have heard the expression "information is power", it is only powerful if used to our advantage. Information must not be confused with knowledge. For example, the Education section of the Medical Council runs an assessment scheme for non-EU doctors seeking Temporary Registration to complete their medical education and training in Ireland. Our Registration section initially assesses each applicant's eligibility to sit the assessment scheme (TRAS), which they then complete in three separate parts. Candidates must pass Parts One (MCQ paper) and Two (IELTS language component) before attempting Part Three (OSCE clinical component). If we look at a data sheet from our database, we see columns and rows, all containing individual pieces of data. Without indicating what data is held within each column, it does not make any sense to us, it is just a meaningless sequence of names, addresses, dates, passport numbers, tick boxes and other items. The top row or "tab" categorises the information, e.g. "name", "address", "date of birth", "date declared eligible", [dates when various stages of the application process were completed] and finally "date Part Three passed". None of the categories make any sense to the computer; however, it can process the data so that it makes sense to its user. The information can be
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