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[′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 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.


(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 ?
Based on unit area of high dimensional data clustering algorithm.
First, the so-called boundary effects are introduced and are shown to be important in high dimensional data spaces.
nn, em, ld, ui] means the access probability for a nearest-neighbor query (nn) using the Euclidean metric (em) on a low dimensional data space (ld) under uniformity and independence assumption (ui).
In this paper, we address the problem that process continuous sequence similarity search query over high dimensional data stream.
Due to high computation complexity of similarity search on high dimensional data and rapid stream arrival rate, continuously retrieving the similar content on high dimensional data streams is very challenging.
With inexpensive scanning CMMs and the capability to effectively harness the power of massive amounts of dimensional data through CAD/CAM systems, virtually every manufacturer can exercise a level of dimensional data analysis never before possible.
Combined with these sensors will be powerful mathematical engines to quickly analyze the billions of bits of dimensional data these systems can generate.
This technology is scaleable for use in the measurement of complex contours in the aerospace and automotive industries as well and will be powerful enough to look at whole car bodies and aerospace fuselage sections and provide large amounts of accurate dimensional data.
Building rapid, accurate, production measurement systems with the ability to quickly analyze massive quantities of dimensional data, while being hardened against the harsh conditions of the shop environment, is the primary new technology driver in the metrology industry as it enters the 21st century.
Combined with these sensors are powerful mathematical engines that will quickly analyze the large amount of dimensional data these systems can generate.

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