Information, in a broad sense, is structured, processed and organised information designed to satisfy a pre-determined demand. It gives context to other data and helps in decision making. For instance, a single customer’s sale in a restaurant is data plus details of where they were born, how old they are, how much they are earning etc. The restaurant can then say what specialties are best sellers, what price point is the highest, which staff members bring in the most customers etc. The customer has been processed into a database for quick retrieval.
In information retrieval the information passed on to a writer from an English class is processed through several layers of processing. At the beginning the student collects all the information they need from the text and from the teacher who will review it. This information is then processed by a machine called a Lexical processor which translates all the languages into English (lexical) and compares each word with its corresponding dictionary word. It checks for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. After this the information is passed on to a Human Resource manager who reviews the information and if it meets their pre-defined business criteria then it is passed on to a qualified writing team who will then do the actual editing.
The twenty-first century will see many developments in the field of information technology. Already this century has seen the birth of information technology as we know it: the information highway; information management, information security, and information warehousing. Other developments include the information gap, meaning that there is an enormous gap between the quantity of information available to us and the ability to access and use it. Also new areas are opening up such as e-commerce, semantic web, and mobile computing.