According to the dictionary, information is 'knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance'. This knowledge can be gained through study, communication, research or instruction. Information varies massively from information regarding train times to information on how to cook a cake or how a car engine works to what a person should do in the case of an emergency. Information comes in many different forms but whatever the form it should always have the following qualities to ensure it is desirable information.
- Accurate - any facts and figures, names and dates or other aspects of the information must be correct and spelt correctly.
- Current - some facts and figures may have been correct 10 years ago, or even 10 days or 10 minutes ago, but if it is not accurate at the current moment, it is not desirable information. We now live in a world where we constantly desire current information quickly and efficiently. Current news for example can be accessed 24/7 and is constantly updated to ensure it is correct. If it is not current, it is not accurate and accuracy is the most desirable quality of information.
- Relevant - Information must include all necessary details but without any facts which are unnecessary to the particular point. This can distract from the intention of the information. To ensure information is relevant, define what it is you wish to gain from the understanding of the information and you will then be able to define whether or not it is relevant.
- Easily understood for the target audience - Information is useless if it is incomprehensible to whoever it is intended for. The person who is distributing the information must ensure that the person it is intended for can understand it. A doctor, for example, will explain a medical procedure to a patient with no medical knowledge using a completely different explanation to how they would inform another doctor.