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Conceptualising Data

Data are commonly understood to be the raw material produced by abstracting the world into categories, measures and other representational forms – numbers, characters, symbols, images, sounds, electromagnetic waves, bits – that constitute the building blocks from which information and knowledge are created. Data are usually representative in nature (e.g., measurements of a phenomena, such as a person's age, height, weight, colour, blood pressure, opinion, habits, location, etc.), but can also be implied (e.g., through an absence rather than presence) or derived (e.g., data that are produced from other data, such as percentage change over time calculated by comparing data from two time periods), and can be either recorded and stored in analogue form or encoded in digital form as bits (binary digits). ...

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