Defining Data

download.jpg Data is a plural of datum, which is originally a Latin noun meaning “something given.”

Data are facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.

Merriam-Webster: 1: facts about something that can be used in calculating, reasoning, or planning. 2: information expressed as numbers for use especially in a computer.

Cambridge English Dictionary: information, especially facts or numbers, collected to be examined and considered and used to help decision-making, or information in an electronic form that can be stored and used by a computer:

Oxford Dictionary: Computing: the quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media. Philosophy: things known or assumed as facts, making the basis of reasoning or calculation. Definition of data: Information in raw or unorganized form (such as alphabets, numbers, or symbols) that refer to, or represent, conditions, ideas, or objects.

Wikipedia: Data is a set of values of qualitative or quantitative variables. Data and information are often used interchangeably; however, the extent to which a set of data is informative to someone depends on the extent to which it is unexpected by that person.

Collins English Dictionary: 1. (Communications & Information) a series of observations, measurements, or facts; information 2. (Computer Science) computing Also called: information the information operated on by a computer program.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: Representation of facts, concepts, or instructions in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing by humans or by automatic means. Any representations such as characters or analog quantities to which meaning is or might be assigned.