Definition of Data
(noun) A collection of recorded observations gained from research from which inferences are drawn through analysis.
Types of Data
- cross-sectional data
- field note
- interview transcript
- raw data
- survey results
- American English – /dAY-tuh/
- British English – /dAY-tuh/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈdædə/
- British English – /ˈdeɪtə/
- Data is the plural form of datum (or data point), a single fact or observation.
- Data is typically numeric (quantitative) or textual (qualitative).
- Quantitative data is typically discrete or continuous. Discrete data (also called quantitative discrete data) is the result of counting, such the amount of words on a page or beans in a jar. Continuous data (also called quantitative continuous data) is the result of measuring, such as standing on a scale to determine your weight or using as thermometer to find out the temperature.
- Data is stored in a data archive, often in the form of a data file as part of a data set, and it comes from a data source.
- Data is collected on two levels: individual and aggregate. An example of data collected at the individual level is a single individual’s income. In contrast, an example of data collected at the aggregate level is the average age of all members of a household.
- Qualitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Quantitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “data” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- cross-sectional data
- data analysis
- qualitative research
- quantitative research
- statistical analysis
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Cite the Definition of Data
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “data.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 28, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/data/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
data. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/data/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “data.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 28, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/data/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“data.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 28 Mar. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/data/>.