Seven Characteristics of Computer Information

Image Credit: Luis Alvarez/DigitalVision/GettyImages

What exactly is computer information? We know that our computers rely on a trove of data and content to fuel their interactions, but understanding what this data consists of or how it interacts with other similar content is a different matter entirely. Understanding what constitutes computer information and what you can technically classify as computer information may help you better understand how your computer works. In developing a better understanding of the characteristics of computer information technology, you can move forward with a unique insight into some of society's most frequently used devices.

Core Characteristics of Information

One of the most important attributes of computer information is related to accessibility. Regardless of how you define computer information, you must include the ability to access that information. After all, the vast majority of functions taking place within a computer are designed to facilitate the transfer of and access to computer information.

Not only must computer information be easily accessible, but it should also be understandable. Few individuals have the knowledge or expertise to interpret computer machine code. With that in mind, hardware developers have created a series of tools over the years to interpret this data and translate it into meaningful content for users.

When computer information is retrieved and translated, it must also be accurate. Inaccuracies in computer data can create a variety of problems for both the user and the hardware itself. If, for example, an individual is using a keyboard and notices that the letters they press appear as different letters on the screen, this poses a fundamental hurdle for effective computer usage.

Other Characteristics of Information Technology

Some of the other critical characteristics of information technology can be merged into a single term: complete. By this definition, computer information should be reflective of the current status of user engagement, it should include all necessary parts to ensure full and thorough functionality, and it should be delivered in the most relevant manner possible.

If a computer can be defined as a service provider, then the delivery of information is the service. How, when, where and what data is provided determines the quality of the information and its completeness for the user in question. If data is delivered that fails to meet the criteria set forth, it is quite likely that it cannot be used for constructive purposes and will impede rather than facilitate computer usage. Fortunately, the processors and hardware found in modern computers help ensure that the data utilized matches the criteria set forth here.