Definition

data

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Enterprise records management strategy guide for GRC professionals

(1) In computing, data is information that has been translated into a form that is more convenient to move or process. Relative to today's computers and transmission media, data is information converted into binary digital form. Data life cycle management (DLM) is a policy-based approach to managing the flow of an information system's data throughout its life cycle: from creation and initial storage to the time when it becomes obsolete and is deleted. It is acceptable for data to be used a singular subject or a plural subject.

2) In computer component interconnection and network communication, data is often distinguished from "control information," "control bits," and similar terms to identify the main content of a transmission unit.

3) In telecommunications, data sometimes means digital-encoded information to distinguish it from analog-encoded information such as conventional telephone voice calls. In general, "analog" or voice transmission requires a dedicated continual connection for the duration of a related series of transmissions. Data transmission can be sent with intermittent connections in packets that arrive in piecemeal fashion.

4) Generally and in science, data is a gathered body of facts.

 

This was last updated in July 2014

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