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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 ?
Using its dn:Director solution, Datanomic's Screening Data Assessment identifies errors, inconsistencies and misfielded data, before demonstrating automated remediation to deliver fit-for-purpose data for exceptional screening accuracy.
These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the benefit to the State of California of the Company's Newborn Hearing Screening Data Management Service.
This collaboration combines Tripos' expertise in molecular information management and chemical compound design with Parke-Davis' capabilities in high-throughput screening and medicinal chemistry to develop knowledge-based solutions for more effective lead identification from high-throughput screening data," said Dr.
MOE built-in applications cover a wide range of research areas including: High Throughput Screening Data Analysis, Combinatorial Chemistry Library Design, Protein & Homology Modeling, and Material Science as well as molecular modeling and simulation.
RNAi Global will provide a forum for member institutions to share research protocols, establish experimental standards and develop mechanisms for exchanging and comparing screening data.
The Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative provides a forum for member institutions to share research protocols, establish experimental standards and develop mechanisms for exchanging and comparing screening data.
All of the screening data from the collaboration will be deposited in PubChem, an NIH database that links chemical structures to biological activities uncovered through screening campaigns.
Combination of both literature and internal screening data allowed us to identify a set of molecules with wide activity profile.
Scientists to Manage High-Throughput Molecular Screening Data with MDL(R) Assay Explorer(R) and Other MDL Technology in Nationwide Collaboration Pursuing Medical Breakthroughs
DecisionSite will enable BSI to rapidly process, analyze and integrate screening data from the clinical biomarker discovery and validation research contracts and internal projects.
The iNSIST utility automates the transfer of newborn screening data from state laboratory and follow-up data repositories to the NNSIS.