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Types of Information
2015-11-24 11:04 typesofinformation [permalink]
Life would be good if all we had was information. If only we could get all the information. We can't handle that much information, so we build systems to handle the information for us. Strange things happen when information comes in. Good systems are designed to handle these well. In designing information processing systems, you have to cater for the following.
Some input signals contain no information. They are either damaged in transport, incomplete, or not of a correct form for the system to handle. Either report them to find out if repair is possible, or keep count of them to be able to report about the health of the system.
Some input signals come in twice, and contain the same information. Or do they? If possible try to have the last step in the chain report if an event did take place twice, or if it's an echo on the line. Sometimes a clerk does drop a pack of cards and enters them again just to be sure. Be ready to take only the new cards.
Some information is wrong. Us humans do make mistakes. The system sometimes doesn't know. It processes a signal, of the correct form, holding valid information. Then again, the fact that some information already in the system may be incorrect is also information.
Don't expect to get all information. There is always more.
More input is coming in. Sometimes we know how much input is still waiting to come in. We'll roughly know how much information there'll be added. In most cases it follows a measurable trend. In some cases it follows the business.
Information processing is one thing, but does it deliver the required new information? Is there more to mine out of the amassment? Sometimes the numbers can show what you need to know, but do you know where to look?
It's hard to design for things we don't know we don't know (yet). But it serves to be prepared. New things have a knack for looking a lot like something we have already. Sometimes they deserve a new module, sometime just a new category, but don't forget to put the existing items in a category also.