A collection of raw facts and figures is called data. The word raw means that the facts have not yet been processed to get their exact meaning. Data is collected from different sources. It is collected for different purposes. Data may consist of numbers, characters, symbols or pictures, etc.
Data is a vital resource for any organization. A resource is anything that is valuable for an organization. Resources include buildings, furniture, vehicles, machinery, and employees. Data is considered a resource because it provides correct information for making proper and timely decisions. It enables the management of the organization to utilize other resources effectively. It is not possible to make a good decision if data is not available in the desired format.
Examples of Data
- When students get admission in colleges or universities, they have to fill out an admission form. The form consists of raw facts about the students. These raw facts are the student’s name, father name, address etc. The purpose of collecting data is to maintain the records of students during their study period in college or university.
- During the census, the Government of Pakistan collects the data of all citizens. Government stores this data permanently lo use it for different purposes at different times.
- Different organizations conduct surveys to know the opinion of the people about their product. In these surveys, people express their ideas and opinions about different issues. These ideas and opinions of the people are stored as data. The organizations use this data for the improvement of their products.
Types of Data
Data may be of the following types:
1. Numeric Data
Numeric data consists of numeric digits from 0 to 9 like 10, 245 or -5. The numeric type of data may either be positive or negative.
2. Alphabetic Data
Alphabetic data consists of alphabetic letters from A to Z, a to z and blank spaces e.g. “IT Series”, “Computer” and “Islam” etc.
3. Alphanumeric Data
Alphanumeric data consists of numeric digits (0 to 9), letters (A to Z) and all special characters like +, %, and @ etc. like “87%”, “$300” and “H#17”.
4. Image Data
This type of data includes charts, graphs, pictures, and drawings. This form of data is more comprehensive. It can be transmitted as a set of bits.
5. Audio Data
Sound is a representation of audio. Audio data includes music, speech or any type of sound.
6. Video Data
Video is a set of full-motion images played at a high speed. Video is used to display actions and movements.