What Is Data In It

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What is Data? - Definition from WhatIs.com

What is Data? – Definition from WhatIs.com

In computing, data is information that has been translated into a form that is efficient for movement or processing. Relative to today’s computers and transmission media, data is information converted into binary digital form. It is acceptable for data to be used as a singular subject or a plural subject. Raw data is a term used to describe data in its most basic digital format.
The concept of data in the context of computing has its roots in the work of Claude Shannon, an American mathematician known as the father of information theory. He ushered in binary digital concepts based on applying two-value Boolean logic to electronic circuits. Binary digit formats underlie the CPUs, semiconductor memories and disk drives, as well as many of the peripheral devices common in computing today. Early computer input for both control and data took the form of punch cards, followed by magnetic tape and the hard disk.
Early on, data’s importance in business computing became apparent by the popularity of the terms “data processing” and “electronic data processing, ” which, for a time, came to encompass the full gamut of what is now known as information technology. Over the history of corporate computing, specialization occurred, and a distinct data profession emerged along with growth of corporate data processing.
How data is stored
Computers represent data, including video, images, sounds and text, as binary values using patterns of just two numbers: 1 and 0. A bit is the smallest unit of data, and represents just a single value. A byte is eight binary digits long. Storage and memory is measured in megabytes and gigabytes.
The units of data measurement continue to grow as the amount of data collected and stored grows. The relatively new term “brontobyte, ” for example, is data storage that is equal to 10 to the 27th power of bytes.
Data can be stored in file formats, as in mainframe systems using ISAM and VSAM. Other file formats for data storage, conversion and processing include comma-separated values. These formats continued to find uses across a variety of machine types, even as more structured-data-oriented approaches gained footing in corporate computing.
Greater specialization developed as database, database management system and then relational database technology arose to organize information.
The range of digital data over time has grown from bits and bytes to brontobytes, with yet bigger data measure to come.
Types of data
Growth of the web and smartphones over the past decade led to a surge in digital data creation. Data now includes text, audio and video information, as well as log and web activity records. Much of that is unstructured data.
The term big data has been used to describe data in the petabyte range or larger. A shorthand take depicts big data with 3Vs — volume, variety and velocity. As web-based e-commerce has spread, big data-driven business models have evolved which treat data as an asset in itself. Such trends have also spawned greater preoccupation with the social uses of data and data privacy.
Data has meaning beyond its use in computing applications oriented toward data processing. For example, in electronic component interconnection and network communication, the term data is often distinguished from “control information, ” “control bits, ” and similar terms to identify the main content of a transmission unit. Moreover, in science, the term data is used to describe a gathered body of facts. That is also the case in fields such as finance, marketing, demographics and health.
Data management and use
With the proliferation of data in organizations, added emphasis has been placed on ensuring data quality by reducing duplication and guaranteeing the most accurate, current records are used. The many steps involved with modern data management include data cleansing, as well as extract, transform and load (ETL) processes for integrating data. Data for processing has come to be complemented by metadata, sometimes referred to as “data about data, ” that helps administrators and users understand database and other data.
Analytics that combine structured and unstructured data have become useful, as organizations seek to capitalize on such information. Systems for such analytics increasingly strive for real-time performance, so they are built to handle incoming data consumed at high ingestion rates, and to process data streams for immediate use in operations.
Over time, the idea of the database for operations and transactions has been extended to the database for reporting and predictive data analytics. A chief example is the data warehouse, which is optimized to process questions about operations for business analysts and business leaders. Increasing emphasis on finding patterns and predicting business outcomes has led to the development of data mining techniques.
Data professionals
The database administrator profession is an offshoot of IT. These database experts work on designing, tuning and maintaining the database.
The data profession took firm root as the relational database management system (RDBMS) gained wide use in corporations, beginning in the 1980s. The relational database’s rise was enabled in part by the Structured Query Language (SQL). Later, non-SQL databases, known as NoSQL databases, arose as an alternative to established RDBMSes.
Today, companies employ data management professionals or assign workers the role of data stewardship, which involves carrying out data usage and security policies as outlined in data governance initiatives.
A distinct title — the data scientist — has appeared to describe professionals focused on data mining and analysis. The benefit of presenting data science in an evocative manner has even given rise to the data artist; that is, an individual adept at graphing and visualizing data in creative ways.
This was last updated in July 2019
Next Steps
Learn how to protect sensitive data by creating a data flow map.
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E. F. Codd’s original paper on the relational data model
Big data and DevOps gain ground together
Claude Shannon on information theory
A review of data analytics in 2016
Dig Deeper on Data stewardship
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Data - Wikipedia

Data – Wikipedia

Some of the different types of data.
Data (;) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. [1] In a more technical sense, data are a set of values of qualitative or quantitative variables about one or more persons or objects, [1] while a datum (singular of data) is a single value of a single variable. [2]
Although the terms “data” and “information” are often used interchangeably, these terms have distinct meanings. In some popular publications, data are sometimes said to be transformed into information when they are viewed in context or in post-analysis. [3] However, in academic treatments of the subject data are simply units of information. Data are used in scientific research, businesses management (e. g., sales data, revenue, profits, stock price), finance, governance (e. g., crime rates, unemployment rates, literacy rates), and in virtually every other form of human organizational activity (e. g., censuses of the number of homeless people by non-profit organizations).
Data are measured, collected, reported, and analyzed, and used to create data visualizations such as graphs, tables or images. Data as a general concept refers to the fact that some existing information or knowledge is represented or coded in some form suitable for better usage or processing. Raw data (“unprocessed data”) is a collection of numbers or characters before it has been “cleaned” and corrected by researchers. Raw data needs to be corrected to remove outliers or obvious instrument or data entry errors (e. g., a thermometer reading from an outdoor Arctic location recording a tropical temperature). Data processing commonly occurs by stages, and the “processed data” from one stage may be considered the “raw data” of the next stage. Field data is raw data that is collected in an uncontrolled “in situ” environment. Experimental data is data that is generated within the context of a scientific investigation by observation and recording.
Data has been described as the new oil of the digital economy. [4][5]
Etymology and terminology[edit]
The first English use of the word “data” is from the 1640s. The word “data” was first used to mean “transmissible and storable computer information” in 1946. The expression “data processing” was first used in 1954. [6]
The Latin word data is the plural of ‘ datum’, “(thing) given, ” neuter past participle of dare “to give”. [6] In English the word data may be used as a plural noun in this sense, with some writers—usually, those working in natural sciences, life sciences, and social sciences—using datum in the singular and data for plural, especially in the 20th century and in many cases also the 21st (for example, APA style as of the 7th edition still requires “data” to be plural. [7]). However, in everyday language and much of the usage of software development and computer science, “data” is most commonly used in the singular as a mass noun (like “sand” or “rain”). The term big data takes the singular.
Meaning[edit]
Data, information, knowledge, and wisdom are closely related concepts, but each has its role concerning the other, and each term has its meaning. According to a common view, data are collected and analyzed; data only becomes information suitable for making decisions once it has been analyzed in some fashion. [8] One can say that the extent to which a set of data is informative to someone depends on the extent to which it is unexpected by that person. The amount of information contained in a data stream may be characterized by its Shannon entropy.
Knowledge is the understanding based on extensive experience dealing with information on a subject. For example, the height of Mount Everest is generally considered data. The height can be measured precisely with an altimeter and entered into a database. This data may be included in a book along with other data on Mount Everest to describe the mountain in a manner useful for those who wish to decide on the best method to climb it. An understanding based on experience climbing mountains that could advise persons on the way to reach Mount Everest’s peak may be seen as “knowledge”. The practical climbing of Mount Everest’s peak based on this knowledge may be seen as “wisdom”. In other words, wisdom refers to the practical application of a person’s knowledge in those circumstances where good may result. Thus wisdom complements and completes the series “data”, “information” and “knowledge” of increasingly abstract concepts.
Data are often assumed to be the least abstract concept, information the next least, and knowledge the most abstract. [9] In this view, data becomes information by interpretation; e. g., the height of Mount Everest is generally considered “data”, a book on Mount Everest geological characteristics may be considered “information”, and a climber’s guidebook containing practical information on the best way to reach Mount Everest’s peak may be considered “knowledge”. “Information” bears a diversity of meanings that ranges from everyday usage to technical use. This view, however, has also been argued to reverse how data emerges from information, and information from knowledge. [10] Generally speaking, the concept of information is closely related to notions of constraint, communication, control, data, form, instruction, knowledge, meaning, mental stimulus, pattern, perception, and representation. Beynon-Davies uses the concept of a sign to differentiate between data and information; data are a series of symbols, while information occurs when the symbols are used to refer to something. [11][12]
Before the development of computing devices and machines, people had to manually collect data and impose patterns on it. Since the development of computing devices and machines, these devices can also collect data. In the 2010s, computers are widely used in many fields to collect data and sort or process it, in disciplines ranging from marketing, analysis of social services usage by citizens to scientific research. These patterns in data are seen as information that can be used to enhance knowledge. These patterns may be interpreted as “truth” (though “truth” can be a subjective concept) and may be authorized as aesthetic and ethical criteria in some disciplines or cultures. Events that leave behind perceivable physical or virtual remains can be traced back through data. Marks are no longer considered data once the link between the mark and observation is broken. [13]
Mechanical computing devices are classified according to how they represent data. An analog computer represents a datum as a voltage, distance, position, or other physical quantity. A digital computer represents a piece of data as a sequence of symbols drawn from a fixed alphabet. The most common digital computers use a binary alphabet, that is, an alphabet of two characters typically denoted “0” and “1”. More familiar representations, such as numbers or letters, are then constructed from the binary alphabet. Some special forms of data are distinguished. A computer program is a collection of data, which can be interpreted as instructions. Most computer languages make a distinction between programs and the other data on which programs operate, but in some languages, notably Lisp and similar languages, programs are essentially indistinguishable from other data. It is also useful to distinguish metadata, that is, a description of other data. A similar yet earlier term for metadata is “ancillary data. ” The prototypical example of metadata is the library catalog, which is a description of the contents of books.
Data documents[edit]
Whenever data needs to be registered, data exists in the form of a data documents. Kinds of data documents include:
data repository
data study
data set
software
data paper
database
data handbook
data journal
Some of these data documents (data repositories, data studies, data sets, and software) are indexed in Data Citation Indexes, while data papers are indexed in traditional bibliographic databases, e. g., Science Citation Index. See further. [14]
Data collection[edit]
Gathering data can be accomplished through a primary source (the researcher is the first person to obtain the data) or a secondary source (the researcher obtains the data that has already been collected by other sources, such as data disseminated in a scientific journal). Data analysis methodologies vary and include data triangulation and data percolation. [15] The latter offers an articulate method of collecting, classifying, and analyzing data using five possible angles of analysis (at least three) to maximize
the research’s objectivity and permit an understanding of the phenomena under investigation as complete as possible: qualitative and quantitative methods, literature reviews
(including scholarly articles), interviews with experts, and computer simulation. The data are thereafter “percolated” using a series of pre-determined steps so as to extract
the most relevant information.
In other fields[edit]
Although data are also increasingly used in other fields, it has been suggested that the highly interpretive nature of them might be at odds with the ethos of data as “given”. Peter Checkland introduced the term capta (from the Latin capere, “to take”) to distinguish between an immense number of possible data and a sub-set of them, to which attention is oriented. [16] Johanna Drucker has argued that since the humanities affirm knowledge production as “situated, partial, and constitutive, ” using data may introduce assumptions that are counterproductive, for example that phenomena are discrete or are observer-independent. [17] The term capta, which emphasizes the act of observation as constitutive, is offered as an alternative to data for visual representations in the humanities.
See also[edit]
Biological data
Computer memory
Data acquisition
Data analysis
Data bank
Data cable
Data curation
Dark data
Data domain
Data element
Data farming
Data governance
Data integrity
Data maintenance
Data management
Data mining
Data modeling
Data point
Data visualization
Computer data processing
Data preservation
Data publication
Data protection
Data remanence
Data science
Data set
Data structure
Data warehouse
Database
Datasheet
Environmental data rescue
Fieldwork
Information engineering
Machine learning
Open data
Scientific data archiving
Statistics
Secondary Data
References[edit]
This article is based on material taken from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing prior to 1 November 2008 and incorporated under the “relicensing” terms of the GFDL, version 1. 3 or later.
^ a b OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms. OECD. 2008. p. 119. ISBN 978-92-64-025561.
^ “Statistical Language – What are Data? “. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2013-07-13. Archived from the original on 2019-04-19. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
^ “Data vs Information – Difference and Comparison | Diffen”.. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
^ Yonego, Joris Toonders (July 23, 2014). “Data Is the New Oil of the Digital Economy”. Wired – via
^ “Data is the new oil”. July 16, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-07-16.
^ a b “data | Origin and meaning of data by Online Etymology Dictionary”.
^ American Psychological Association (2020). “6. 11”. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: the official guide to APA style. American Psychological Association. ISBN 9781433832161.
^ “Joint Publication 2-0, Joint Intelligence” (PDF). Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Doctrine Publications. Department of Defense. 23 October 2013. pp. I-1. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
^ Akash Mitra (2011). “Classifying data for successful modeling”.
^ Tuomi, Ilkka (2000). “Data is more than knowledge”. Journal of Management Information Systems. 6 (3): 103–117. doi:10. 1080/07421222. 1999. 11518258.
^ P. Beynon-Davies (2002). Information Systems: An introduction to informatics in organisations. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-96390-3.
^ P. Beynon-Davies (2009). Business information systems. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave. ISBN 978-0-230-20368-6.
^ Sharon Daniel. The Database: An Aesthetics of Dignity.
^ Schöpfel et al. 2020. “Data Documents”. ISKO Encyclopedia of Knowledge Organization
^ Mesly, Olivier (2015). Creating Models in Psychological Research. États-Unis: Springer Psychology: 126 pages. ISBN 978-3-319-15752-8
^ P. Checkland and S. Holwell (1998). Information, Systems, and Information Systems: Making Sense of the Field. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 86–89. ISBN 0-471-95820-4.
^ Johanna Drucker (2011). “Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display”. Digital Humanities Quarterly. 005 (1).
External links[edit]
Look up data in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Data.
Data is a singular noun (a detailed assessment)
Data | Definition of Data by Merriam-Webster

Data | Definition of Data by Merriam-Webster

1: factual information (such as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation
the data is plentiful and easily available— H. A. Gleason, Jr. comprehensive data on economic growth have been published— N. H. Jacoby
2: information in digital form that can be transmitted or processed
3: information output by a sensing device or organ that includes both useful and irrelevant or redundant information and must be processed to be meaningful
Is data singular or plural? : Usage Guide
Data leads a life of its own quite independent of datum, of which it was originally the plural. It occurs in two constructions: as a plural noun (like earnings), taking a plural verb and plural modifiers (such as these, many, a few) but not cardinal numbers, and serving as a referent for plural pronouns (such as they, them); and as an abstract mass noun (like information), taking a singular verb and singular modifiers (such as this, much, little), and being referred to by a singular pronoun (it). Both constructions are standard. The plural construction is more common in print, evidently because the house style of several publishers mandates it.
Examples of data in a Sentence
Smith, himself a stay-at-home dad and a journalist, mixes accessible summaries of social-science data with anecdotes drawn from interviews with couples in which the men have chosen, or have been compelled by economic circumstance, to become primary caregivers to their children.
— Eduardo M. Pealver, Commonweal, 11 Sept. 2009
He plays Chuck Bartowski, a computer-tech expert with the Buy More store’s Nerd Herd … who unwittingly becomes a secret agent when government data is downloaded to his brain.
— Michael Logan, TV Guide, September 10-16, 2007
As measurements get better and more data pour in, physicists will bring those errors under control and chart exciting new territory. But for many, the wait is a strain.
— Charles Seife, Science, 2 May 2003
By studying obscure demographic and economic data, he deduced that the Soviets were in crisis—and spending a far bigger slice of its national income on defense than anyone had suspected.
— John Barry et al., Newsweek, 21 May 2001
See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Analyticals like hard data and real numbers, Functionals want process, detail, and timelines, and Personals prioritize interpersonal connection and generally communicate in an informal and friendly manner.

Mark Murphy, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021
The number of coffee shops, coffee houses and cafés per capita and the average price per pack of coffee were among the 12 data points used in the study.
Teri Webster, Dallas News, 27 Sep. 2021
The numbers appeared to closely track preliminary data released early this year by the FBI, which showed that murder had spiked by more than 20% in 2020.
Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 27 Sep. 2021
With machine learning techniques, the researchers used a Pantheon 1. 0 data set of a large body of news articles about more than 6, 600 famous individuals, including business leaders.
Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 27 Sep. 2021
National Health Commission data showed that between 2014 and 2018, there had been an average of 9. 7 million abortions per year, rising about 51% from the 2009-2013 average despite a relaxation of family planning policies in 2015.
Reuters, CNN, 27 Sep. 2021
But officials say 2020 is the last year for which data reported through the old system will be accepted.
Devlin Barrett, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Sep. 2021
National Health Commission data showed that from 2014 to 2018, there had been an average of 9. 7 million abortions per year, rising about 51 percent from the 2009-2013 average despite a relaxation of family planning policies in 2015.
NBC News, 27 Sep. 2021
Oregon empowers local communities to exempt data centers from some or all of their property taxes.
oregonlive, 27 Sep. 2021
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘data. ‘ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
More Definitions for data
English Language Learners Definition of data: facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something: information that is produced or stored by a computer
da·​ta
| \ ˈdā-tə, ˈda-tə \
1: facts about something that can be used in calculating, reasoning, or planning
2: information expressed as numbers for use especially in a computer
Hint:
Data can be used as a singular or a plural in writing and speaking. This data is useful. These data have been questioned.
data
noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction
Medical Definition of data: factual information (as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation
the data is plentiful and easily available— H. comprehensive data on the incidence of Lyme disease

Frequently Asked Questions about what is data in it

What is data in information technology?

In computing, data is information that has been translated into a form that is efficient for movement or processing. Relative to today’s computers and transmission media, data is information converted into binary digital form. … Raw data is a term used to describe data in its most basic digital format.

What do we mean by data?

Data are measured, collected, reported, and analyzed, and used to create data visualizations such as graphs, tables or images. Data as a general concept refers to the fact that some existing information or knowledge is represented or coded in some form suitable for better usage or processing.

What is data in simple words?

: facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something. : information that is produced or stored by a computer. data. noun plural. da·​ta | \ ˈdā-tə , ˈda-tə \”
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