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What is data?

Irina Kosheleva
Irina Kosheleva
February 26, 2013
What is data?

Every day we use words, not really thinking about their meaning. But a proper understanding of what we are talking about often influences work efficiency. Especially when it comes to simple words that have several meanings. Speaking about what data is, we do not really think about it, and there are many different definitions.


The word “data” itself is a calque of the Latin word data, which means information. Thus, in the most general sense, this word denotes information that is transmitted in any formalized form - words, numbers, codes, etc. Depending on the sphere of use, the word “data” may acquire other shades of meaning, but the main thing is information.

Labor law

When applying for a job, your employer needs your personal data. What is personal data and where does it come from?

Any information relating to the facts, circumstances and events of your life is your personal data.Your place of study, the university that you graduated from, permanent registration and address of residence, what languages ​​you speak, whether you had criminal convictions - all this is personal data. That is, information related to labor relations.

But here you should separately point out that personal information does not include information about your personal life. According to the law (Art. 23 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation) a person has the right not to disclose any facts of his personal life, if they do not directly concern labor relations. Moreover, your personal data cannot be disclosed without your consent, this is a direct violation of Art. 24 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Computer science

The term "data" is used in computer science. Here it is fixed and displayed on any media information. It does not matter at all whether this information can be understood, deciphered and in general whether it has reached the addressee.

Speaking about data in computer science, it is also necessary to understand what a data type is. This is a specific system by which actual (real) data is encoded and translated into an information (cybernetic) plane.

In computer science at the moment there are two main types of data:

  1. Binary (binary) data.
  2. Text data.

Binary data can not be processed directly by man, for processing there are special programs that know their structure.

Text data is information recorded in the form of text written in any of the programming languages.

If you are interested in what a data structure is, then it will be quite difficult to understand this without much knowledge in the field of computer science. Simplifying, we can say that the structure is a certain system in which a large amount of the same type of data is stored and processed.


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