The simplest answer to “What is data?” is information. If you look in a dictionary or ask Google you will find a range of different meanings. Data is:
- facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis
- the quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, which may be stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media.
Over the last 20 years the increasing power of computers, the reduced costs of very large data storage facilities and the increased use of social media and online tools means that data is now a very big business. Data is used in almost all industries to help businesses make decisions or as the main product. From banking and law to retail and healthcare, it is estimated that Scotland needs an extra 13,000 workers each year with data and digital skills.
The aim of Data Education in Schools is to increase data literacy in the children and young people in South East Scotland so that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the data driven world around them.
Here are some examples of data.