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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 ?
Indeed, an entire industry of businesses -- which operate rather euphemistically as "data-management platforms" -- now captures individual users' passive data and extracts hundreds of billions of dollars from it.
The separate analyses of active and passive data showed different effects.
BackOffice Associates Executive Vice President Global Sales and Business Development, Charles Nardi, will deliver a session: "Active and Passive Data Governance is a Journey", on Monday, October 5th, 3:45-4:45 pm, in the Beverly Hills Room.
Charles Nardi, BackOffice Associates Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development, will present a session titled "Active and Passive Data Governance", on Wed.
BackOffice Associates Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Thomas Kennedy, will present a Partner Session titled "Active and Passive Data Governance - A Detailed Look at the Two Methods," on Wed.
We've invented a solution that gives nonprofits unmatched flexibility and control across the board and that includes the ability to build their own, unique best practices into their constituent management and fundraising operations so their systems are active - versus passive data repositories -- and will automatically execute the processes of fundraising and relationship development," McCabe continued.
Metryx's Mentor metrology tools monitor the mass of any wafer following a process step to quickly determine whether device manufacture process steps are operating consistently using passive data collection (PDC) and distribution analysis.
Tenders are invited for Providing Passive Data And Voice Network System For Tata Memorial Hospital HBCH And RC At Aganampudi Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh
This "flight across the value chain" shows how passive data becomes intelligent information used to increase revenue, improve visibility and to ensure management objectives are consistently met.
Reva's TAP appliance provides a powerful and scalable means of providing consistent and high-quality Passive data, and we're pleased to work with them on integrating this data into our application to benefit customers.
Going beyond the passive data gathering and single function tools of typical survey solutions, Vovici addresses the entire continuum of feedback needs - from conducting basic surveys to fully integrated solutions that drive business vision.

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