cover image

Data (computer science)

Quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In computer science, data (treated as singular, plural, or as a mass noun) is any sequence of one or more symbols; datum is a single symbol of data. Data requires interpretation to become information. Digital data is data that is represented using the binary number system of ones (1) and zeros (0), instead of analog representation. In modern (post-1960) computer systems, all data is digital.

Various types of data which can be visualized through a computer device

Data exists in three states: data at rest, data in transit and data in use. Data within a computer, in most cases, moves as parallel data. Data moving to or from a computer, in most cases, moves as serial data. Data sourced from an analog device, such as a temperature sensor, may be converted to digital using an analog-to-digital converter. Data representing quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer are stored and recorded on magnetic, optical, electronic, or mechanical recording media, and transmitted in the form of digital electrical or optical signals.[1] Data pass in and out of computers via peripheral devices.

Physical computer memory elements consist of an address and a byte/word of data storage. Digital data are often stored in relational databases, like tables or SQL databases, and can generally be represented as abstract key/value pairs. Data can be organized in many different types of data structures, including arrays, graphs, and objects. Data structures can store data of many different types, including numbers, strings and even other data structures.