data [English]

Syndetic Relationships

InterPARES Definition (datum, n.) ~ The smallest meaningful units of information.

Other Definitions

  • [UK] Minister of State 2012 (†663 p. 7): Qualitative of quantitative statements or numbers that are assumed to be factual, and not the product of analysis or interpretation.
  • Furht and Escalante 2010 (†583 p.439): Data is raw. It simply exists and has no significance beyond its existence (in and of itself). It can exist in any form, usable or not. It does not have meaning of itself.
  • IP2 Dictionary (†242 s.v. data): n., The smallest meaningful units of information. [Archives] n., Relevant observations made on artifacts serving as the basis for study and discussion. [Sciences] n., Facts or instructions represented in a formalized manner, suitable for transmission, interpretation or processing manually or automatically. [Archives] n., The symbolic representation of facts or ideas, especially when in the form in which it was originally collected and is unanalyzed. [Archives] n., Information, in any form, on which computer programs operate. The distinction between program (instructions) and data is a fundamental one in computing (see von Neumann machine). It is in this fundamental sense that the word is used in terms such as data, data break, data bus, data cartridge, data communications, data compression, data name, data protection, data subject, and data type. [Computer and Information Sciences] n., 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. [Computer and Information Sciences] n., Technically, raw facts and figures, such as orders and payments, which are processed into information, such as balance and due and quantity on hand. However, in common usage, the terms data and information are used synonymously. [Computer and Information Sciences] n., Any form of information whether in paper or electronic form. In electronic form, data refers to the files and databases, text documents, images and digitally-encoded voice and video. [Computer and Information Sciences] n., A general term for information; particularly used for information stored in a database. [Computer and Information Sciences] n., Data is distinguished from other contrasting forms of information on which computers operate, such as text, graphics, speech, and image. The distinguishing characteristic is that it is organized in a structured, repetitive, and often compressed way. Typically the structure takes the form of sets of fields, where the field names are omitted (this omission being a main means of achieving compression). The “meaning” of such data is not apparent to anyone who does not know what each field signifies (for example, only a very limited meaning can be attached to “1234” unless you know that it occupies the “employee number” field). That characteristic gives rise to the popular fallacy that “data is meaningless”. [Computer and Information Sciences] n., Numbers, characters, images or other methods of recording that represent values that can be stored, processed, and transmitted by electronic systems. [General Dictionaries]
  • IP2 Glossary (†386 s.v. data): n., The smallest meaningful units of information. [Archives - MCRI 412-2001 InterPARES 2 Detailed Proposal Forum , Page: 1 ]
  • PC Magazine Encyclopedia 2014 (†451 s.v. "data"): (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.
  • SAA Glossary 2005 (†241 s.v. "data"): sing. or pl. n. (datum, sing.) ~ Facts, ideas, or discrete pieces of information, especially when in the form originally collected and unanalyzed.
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. data): A set of values of qualitative or quantitative variables; restated, pieces of data are individual pieces of information. Data is measured, collected and reported, and analyzed, whereupon it can be visualized using graphs or images. Data as an abstract concept can be viewed as the lowest level of abstraction, from which information and then knowledge are derived.


  • CNSS-4009 (†730 p.23): A subset of information in an electronic format that allows it to be retrieved or transmitted. (†1725)
  • Hunter 2014 (†602 p.16-17): Valuable proprietary/sensitive data should be stored in the cloud only when there are sufficient privacy and security safeguards in place. What procedures does your company have to insure important/sensitive data are not transferred to the cloud ( i.e., even via email as an attachment), or is transferred only if safeguards are in place? In some states your company technically waives the attorney–client privilege by transferring attorney–client privileged information to a third-party ( i.e., cloud provider). To help avoid this problem the service agreement should contain a “non-waiver” provision and a provision that restricts the provider (or anyone else) from accessing or reading data your company stores on the cloud. All other types of data may be stored on the cloud (subject to the data location concerns above). Ideally, the service agreement will contain a provision that prohibits the commingling of your company’s data with the data of any other company. (†1389)
  • World Economic Forum 2012 (†683 p. 7): Data, unlike most tangible assets, is not consumed when used; it can be reused to generate value. Data grows ever more connected and valuable with use. Connecting two pieces of data creates another piece of data and with it new potential opportunities (as well as new potential harms). (†1562)