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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 ?
In order to overcome the difficulties of current ER methods for high dimensional data, we propose an ensemble learning method based on feature selection in this paper.
Similarity measure design for high dimensional data was also discussed by way of norm structure.
The difficulty is of high dimensional data clustering are as follows:
A touch-screen interface simplifies operation of the automated blast machine, allows easy access to control functions, and enables password-protected direct entry of dimensional data or processing parameters into the system's programmable logic controller.
The catalog provides comprehensive selection information, including AGMA service class selection charts, overhung and thrust capacities, and furl dimensional data.
Dimensional data for sizing and mounting are included, and the NP design is available in eight widths from 1- to 7-in.
The modules, including Inspection Planner, PC-DMIS Vision, PC-DMIS NC, and Web Reporter, allow a single approach to gathering and analyzing dimensional data. The EMS Inspection Planner module creates catalogs of inspection features using the native CAD system algorithms and tools, eliminating any translation from the original CAD design intent.
A review of existing FED LOG data for the items to be containerized indicated that much of the dimensional data needed to determine the size of the repair parts was missing or incomplete.
The PDT SDK 2.1 features the core functionality of the Pliable Display Technology geometry engine for two dimensional data applications.
The new modules are the Dimensional Data for Piping module and the Telecommunication module.
Dimensional Data, material properties, flow rates and sample specification are now available for selecting piping for RO/DI & USP water systems or for your piping requirements.
Also included is a primer on hydraulic circuit fault finding, port and pipe connection technical data, descriptive text, dimensional data, product photos and suggested uses.

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