Relationship of Data, Information, and Intelligence

Raw data has relatively limited utility and value. Its processing and exploitation, however, transform data in information which can be used. Coupling information with other information and past experience can sometimes show this same information in a new light, which helps developing new understanding of the information. At this point, it can be called intelligence.

The analyse and comparison of information against other information and/or databases helps use draw conclusions. Intelligence has two features that distinguish it from information:

  • Intelligence allows anticipation or prediction of future situations and circumstances
  • Intelligence informs decisions by illuminating the differences in available courses of action

The revised edition of JP 2-0, Joint Intelligence has a great figure to illustrate the relationship of data, information and intelligence.

Relationship of Data, Information, and Intelligence

Figure I-1. Relationship of Data, Information, and Intelligence Source