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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 ?
With regard to subjective data collection procedures such as anecdotal notes, it is difficult for the professional to sift through copious quantities of text to find emergent patterns and themes that are consistent and valid.
Considering the nature of the subjective data, overall, it can be concluded that there is some evidence to argue that the managerial surrogates do a reasonably good job in measuring the efficiency role of firm management in the corruption and productivity process.
This section describes the institutional details at Northwestern University, the data collection method, and the subjective data.
We are planning to submit in the second quarter additional analyses of the existing subjective data from our adult sleep maintenance clinical trial along with other important information that we believe can support a determination by the FDA that Silenor can be approved for the treatment of insomnia.
All mothers completed an expanded version of the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire (BRISQ), and provided subjective data concerning their child's sleep habits.
Many social scientists, on the other hand, are confronted with the challenge of modeling social interactions and human systems based on incomplete and subjective data based in the interpretations of multiple subject matter experts.
Some examples of subjective data are decreased appetite, pain level, color of urine, and degree of edema.
This provides companies with a rich pool of data--both objective data from carefully defined assessment questions about job skills and fulfillment of job requirements, and more subjective data from personal performance reviews.
According to the interviewees, the evaluation component of a grant proposal to a foundation should include evidence of a solid evaluation plan, including both objective and subjective data.
If so, how can subjective data of this kind best be described?

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