Topic 1: Data and Quality of Data

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What is data?

Data can be:

  • Numbers
  • Words
  • Images
  • Sound
  • Video

Definition of the word 'Data':

Data consists of raw facts and figures (e.g. readings from sensors, surveys etc.) These raw facts and figures are meangingless because they lack relevnace or context. If you look at data, it is no use to you.


Data processed by the computer. Processed can mean... having calculations performed on it, converted to give it meaning or organised in some way. (e.g. put into numerical order, alphabetical order or a database structure.)


Knowledge is information with rules applied to it.

Data: 39

Information: A childs body temperature is 39 degrees celcius.

Knowledge: Normal body temperature is 37 degrees celcius, the child has a high body temperature.

How can we get data?:

  • From the results of an experiment
  • From automatic measurements using sensors (e.g. temperature, rainfall, pressure etc)
  • From a transaction (e.g buying a CD over the internet)
  • From a survey

Encoding of data:

Data is often encoded when it is collected on input into an ICT system. The reasons for this are:

  • Coded data is quicker to type in
  • It takes up less storage space on a disk
  • It is easier to do a validation check
  • Faster to access data that…


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