<data> /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.

People or computers can find patterns in data to perceive information, and information can be used to enhance knowledge. Since knowledge is prerequisite to wisdom, we always want more data and information. But, as modern societies verge on information overload, we especially need better ways to find patterns.

1234567.89 is data.

"Your bank balance has jumped 8087% to $1234567.89" is information.

"Nobody owes me that much money" is knowledge.

"I'd better talk to the bank before I spend it, because of what has happened to other people" is wisdom.

(01 Apr 1999)

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<evaluation, statistics> Information gathered for the purpose of research, assessment, or evaluation.

(14 Jan 2009)

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Multiple facts (usually but not necessarily empirical) used as a basis for inference, testing, models, etc. The word is plural and takes a plural verb.

(05 Mar 2000)

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