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Introduction to Data

Graeme Malcolm asks, 'What is Data?' and discusses some of the ways we generate it in our daily lives

In the first step of this activity, we’ll be introduced to the idea of data, giving us a scale of how much data is being generated around us daily.

What is data?

/ˈdeɪtə/ | noun

  1. Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.
  2. 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. – Oxford Languages
Data is generated by us and our interactions all the time. It’s also generated between smart devices communicating the data that they collect between each other.
The prevalence of technology and the ability of gadgets such as smartphones and smartwatches to measure our actions and movement has led to an estimate that the average person generated 1.7MB per second in 2020.
With all this data around, there’s a need for it to be stored for reporting and further analysis to be applied to it. That’s where learners like you come in, through the completion of courses such as this.
In the next step, Graeme Malcolm will introduce us to some common data formats.

Join the discussion

Considering what’s been presented in this step, how much data do you estimate is generated on average per day, per person?

Use the Discussion section below and let us know your thoughts. Try to respond to at least one other post and once you’re happy with your contribution, click the Mark as complete button to move on to the next step.

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