Meaning of DATA

Meaning of DATA:

The plural of datum (the Latin for ‘given’), data are facts or observations: the bits of information from which inferences are drawn. Although qualitative social scientists would regard their observations as every bit as factual as the statistics produced by quantitative research instruments such as surveys and tests, the term often implies facts that can be quantified and analysed statistically; hence data banks, data bases and the like. Strictly speaking ‘data’ should be treated as a plural; hence the data show that’ rather than the data shows that but it is increasingly treated as a singular noun.