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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 ?
The performances among the normal data, non-split data and split data is shown in the form of graph
Based on the above assumption in Section 2, this paper proposes to achieve the online fault detection by applying the online clustering to separating the normal data points [D.
Recently, the decay map for the United States was re-created on the basis of the most recent climate normal data available from the National Climatic Data Center (Carll 2009).
The coordinator sets NTDMA part after ETDMA, for normal data transmission based on the transmission cycle of nodes.
To ensure that communication using wireless GPRS is secure, dedicated SIM cards are an option (if security is not an issue normal data enabled SIM cards can be used).
This user-certified normal data can also be used to help determine stopping criteria when incrementally combining clusters and will improve the accuracy of cluster identification.
5 In a normal data center environment, water cooling reduces the required system air flow by more than 20%, while removing more than 70% of the system air heat load.
Kruskal-Wallis tests were employed on non-normal data and ANOVA on normal data.
b) For normal data, the sample mean and variance are the unbiased estimators of location of the underlying distribution.
Among these are parallel group superiority trials with normal data, bioequivalence trials, precision-based clinical trials with normal data, non-inferiority trials with binary data, clinical trials with ordinal data, and clinical trials with survival data.
No details were given to indicate whether accessing the published page on Twitter will attract normal data rates.
If social security or credit card numbers are part of the normal data collection process, then a contact center needs to be sure to establish that the hosting partner you choose has the appropriate safeguards in place.