Data is distinct piece of information which is formatted in special way and exist in variety of forms. Form can be a number or text written somewhere, as of bits and bytes stored in electronic memory, can be facts stored in human mind. Data is somehow relate to term ‘Program’. Basically program are collection of instruction for manipulating data. Strictly data is plural form which is always be written as ‘what are data’ not ‘what is data’ but still there are so many persons used as singular. The term ‘Data’ is used to distinguish between binary files which are machine-readable files contain binary data and text files which contain ASCII data. In database these files store database information and the other index files which store administrative information is known as metadata.
Data is fundamentally categorized in two types quantitative and qualitative
If the data is in numerical form then it is quantitative type and if it is not then qualitative and further they both are sub divided into two categories ordinal or nominal, and numeric data can be discrete or continuous. All the qualitative data are discrete, while some numeric data are discrete and some are continuous.
Qualitative data examples are eyes: blue, black, brown, etc. this type of data arises when observation fall into separate distinct categories. Exam result either pass or fail also an example of qualitative data.
Quantitative Data is used when the observation are counts or measured. Data is classified into two forms discrete if the measurements are integers. example number of persons in house. Another one is continuous if the measurements can take any value like height.