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In statistics, statistical data consist of groups of information that represent the qualitative or quantitative attributes of a statistical variable or set of variables in the form of numbers. Data (plural of "datum", which is seldom used) are typically the results of statistical measurements and can be the basis of statisitcal analysisand graphical displays. Data are often viewed as the lowest level of abstraction from which information and knowledge are derived.

Etymology

The word data is the plural of Latin datum, neuter past participle of dare, "to give", hence "something given". The past participle of "to give" has been used for millennia, in the sense of a statement accepted at face value. In discussions of problems in science, the terms givens and data are used interchangeably. Such usage is the origin of data as a concept in computer science: data are numbers, words, images, etc., accepted as they stand.

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