data

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data

[′dad·ə, ′dād·ə, or ′däd·ə]
(computer science)
General term for numbers, letters, symbols, and analog quantities that serve as input for computer processing.
Any representations of characters or analog quantities to which meaning, if not information, may be assigned.
(science and technology)
Numerical or qualitative values derived from scientific experiments.

data

(data, data processing, jargon)
/day't*/ (Or "raw data") Numbers, characters, images, or other method of recording, in a form which can be assessed by a human or (especially) input into a computer, stored and processed there, or transmitted on some digital channel. Computers nearly always represent data in binary.

Data on its own has no meaning, only when interpreted by some kind of data processing system does it take on meaning and become information.

For example, the binary data 01110101 might represent the integer 117 or the ASCII lower case U character or the blue component of a pixel in some video. Which of these it represents is determined by the way it is processed (added, printed, displayed, etc.). Even these numbers, characters or pixels however are still not really information until their context is known, e.g. my bank balance is ?117, there are two Us in "vacuum", you have blue eyes.

data

(1) Technically, raw facts and figures, such as orders and payments, which are processed into information, such as balance due and quantity on hand. However, in common usage, the terms "data" and "information" are used synonymously. In addition, the term data is really the plural of "datum," which is one item of data. But datum is rarely used, and data is used as both singular and plural in practice.

The amount of data versus information kept in the computer is a tradeoff. Data can be processed into different forms of information, but it takes time to sort and sum transactions. Up-to-date information can provide instant answers.

A common misconception is that software is also data. Software is executed, or run, by the computer. Data are "processed." Thus, software causes the computer to process data.

(2) Any form of information whether on paper or in electronic form. Data may refer to any electronic file no matter what the format: database data, text, images, audio and video. Everything read and written by the computer can be considered data except for instructions in a program that are executed (software).

(3) May refer only to data stored in a database in contrast with text in a word processing document.
References in periodicals archive ?
If emerging technologies can help portal vendors address integration and data aggregation issues, the full adoption of Web services into the portal environment will become a much easier sell.
Increasing the speed of data aggregation will also allow users of Actuate software to analyze larger data sets and perform analysis on near real-time data.
Both packages provide the core HyperRoll capabilities required to accelerate data aggregation in relational database environments.
HyperRoll has made a tremendous investment in developing data aggregation technologies and acquiring intellectual property that has become critical in BI environments," said Michael Bealmear, CEO of HyperRoll Inc.
March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- HyperRoll, a leading provider of data aggregation software for business intelligence applications, today announced that Wachovia is using HyperRoll to accelerate its corporate profitability reporting.
IntelliCorp was a logical choice for us because of its extensive expertise in background screening data aggregation.
WealthTouch combines a proprietary platform for data aggregation and reporting with a clear understanding of the financial and security issues critical to serving this unique client niche.
Advanced exception management capabilities and data aggregation for faster information gathering; plus enhanced detail views for deeper analytics.
Specifically, the agreement provides for rigsite data aggregation, transmission of the data to SIEP's and/or its affiliates' real-time operations centers (RTOCs), and data integration using the WITSML standard with other drilling software in use within SIEP.
Though Quantros is concerned with large volume healthcare data aggregation and analysis, we never forget that quality healthcare is delivered one patient at a time.
Albridge Solutions, an industry leader in enterprise data management (EDM), web-based portfolio accounting and performance reporting, reached an agreement to provide Pacific Select Group (PSG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Pacific Life Insurance Company, with access to data aggregation technology that enables their independent registered representatives (reps) to view and report on their clients' self-directed assets.

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