(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.
Last updated: 2007-09-10