Information Technology and Semiotics
In general, information is processed, arranged and categorised data. It gives meaning to data and allows effective decision making on behalf of the users. For instance, a single consumer’s sale in a restaurant is statistical data this becomes information once the company is able to classify the most common or least common dish. This statistical data is used to create the menu for the day, weekly or monthly, depending on the demand. Information science therefore involves the study of information systems, databases and their use in the actual business world. It deals with all aspects of the information process from identifying the need to its collation, transformation and distribution to its use in decision making.
Information technology in general is used to improve business processes by implementing new methods, better ways of gathering information and analyzing it, presenting it in a more convenient way and sharing it with other people. Every information system therefore needs a corresponding information technology and vice versa. In order for an information system to be effective, it must satisfy several criteria. They are usability, scalability, importance to the organization, access to modify, reliability and durability. In most cases, it is the utility of a particular system that makes it important to implement one.
Information management systems therefore include some elements of both semiotics and pragmatics. A good example of a combination of both is the Microsoft Office Suite. It uses both pragmatics and semiotics to provide users with a better way of making sense out of the text and graphics and thus allowing information systems to be more effective.