What is the difference between data and information on my boat? For example, the voltage value measured on a signal wire that goes from the engine start battery to your panel voltmeter is data. The number you see on that voltmeter (BATT) is information. Where does the data come from? In the case of the voltage example above, the data originates at the battery. Why should I care? Once the data is displayed as information at your panel, you have what you need to answer the important question - Is the engine alternator working?